BOSTON — Brad Marchand’s tongue-lashing has earned him some tongue-lashings.
The Bruins’ resident instigator was at it again Friday night, as he appeared to lick Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ryan Callahan during a second-period altercation in Game 4 of the teams’ second-round Stanley Cup playoff series.
Some would chalk Marchand’s antics up to harmless trolling, but Callahan wasn’t laughing about the incident, even after Tampa Bay’s 4-3 overtime win at TD Garden.
“I don’t know what the difference between that is and spitting in somebody’s face,” Callahan said of Marchand’s licking. “And if I’m not mistaken, spitting is a game misconduct, if not gross.
“It’s unfortunate that he goes that low to do that, but it doesn’t take us off our game. We keep going, and we’ll let the refs handle that. I’m just surprised something isn’t done.”
Callahan hopes the NHL reviews the play to determine if Marchand should be punished.
“I hope the league looks at it. I don’t know if there is discipline for spitting in someone’s face. But to me it’s worse, if not the same.”
For his part, Marchand insisted Callahan had it coming.
“He punched me four times in the face,” Marchand said when asked why he licked Callahan. “So, he just kept getting close. Nothing big.”
This isn’t the first tongue bath Marchand has given an opponent, though, and Lightning coach Jon Cooper seemed to agree with Callahan that the Bruins forward’s odd extracurriculars need to stop.
“All I’m going to say is, there’s absolutely no place in our game for that. I don’t understand it. I don’t.
“How would you feel if I walked over to you right now and just gave you one big lick from the chin all the way up? There’s just no place in the game for that.”
Marchand and the B’s have bigger fish to fry at the moment, as they now trail 3-1 in the best-of-seven series and must win on the road Sunday in Game 5 to keep their season alive.