BOSTON — Oops, he did it again.
Boston pest Brad Marchand has licked another opponent. This time it was Lightning F Ryan Callahan after the two got into a shoving match after Marchand hit Callahan low in the second period of the Lightning's 4-3 overtime win in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinal Friday.
Marchand also licked the Maple Leafs' Leo Komarov in their first-round series, and the NHL reportedly called the Bruins after the series to ask them to tell Marchand to quit licking opponents. Now the Lightning wants something done about it.
"I don't know what the difference is in that and spitting in somebody's face," Callahan said. "It's unfortunate that he goes to that level to do that. But it doesn't take us off our game."
But it is annoying, especially considering Marchand has a reputation for such behavior.
"There's absolutely no place in our game for that," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "I don't understand it. I don't. How would you like it if I walked over to you right now and gave you a big lick from the chin all the way up? There's just no place for it."
TV analysts agreed.
"I don't know what's going through Marchand's mind," NBCSN analyst and former player Keith Jones said during the intermission between second and third periods.
"There's no need for that," echoed analyst and former player Jeremy Roenick. "There's no licking in hockey."
How you like these apples?
Even Lightning fans have to pull for a kid like Boston C Ryan Donato
Sure, he and his teammates are trying to beat Tampa Bay. But this is a guy who seems to have his head on straight. He's not just playing hockey right now. He's going to school. And not just any school. He's finishing the semester at Harvard.
Donato played at Harvard as a junior this season and also represented the United States in the Olympics in South Korea. His Harvard season ended in March, and he immediately signed with the Bruins, for whom his father, Ted, used to play. But though he left the Harvard team, he didn't leave the school. He's still taking classes.
"That's what he chose, and we're fine with it," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said.
While his teammates are busy watching TV or going out during downtime on the road, Donato, a sociology major, is studying. He's studying a lot, trying to graduate as soon as possible.
"I just want to be ready for the games, so if it's close to a game, I'm staying at the hotel so I'll stay focused," he told the Boston Globe, "and maybe if we get back from a road trip at 3 a.m., I get a ride from one of the guys and get dropped off at the dorm."
Finals are coming up soon. The Lightning probably wants to do what it can to help him out by eliminating the Bruins so he has extra time to study.
This and that
Lightning F Tyler Johnson took a nasty slash on the hand in the second period and missed a couple of shifts. Something to keep an eye for Game 5 on Sunday, when the Lightning could win the series.
Times staff writer Frank Pastor contributed to this report.