By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Bruins were eliminated from the playoffs on Sunday, but Brad Marchand is not planning on going out quietly. Far from it.
The Bruins’ winger had himself an eventful postseason. He tallied 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) in the Bruins’ 12 games, and he also put himself at the center of what is believed to be the first-ever licking controversy by placing his tongue on the neck of Leafs forward Leo Komarov and then repeating the act against Lightning forward Ryan Callahan. The NHL eventually had to step in and tell him to knock it off.
Marchand didn’t lick anyone in Game 5 on Sunday, but he did get sent to the box with an embellishment penalty during a 3-1 loss to the Lightning.
On Monday, the official Twitter account of the Montreal Canadiens decided to take a victory lap in the Bruins’ loss and take a shot at Marchand, saying: “Without naming names, just a reminder that licking is frowned upon on the golf course as well.” The tweet included a link to a random story from 1997 about licking golf balls.
Marchand was not overly amused.
That is, as the youth might say, a deep burn.
Earlier on Monday, Marchand had taken to Twitter to share a simple message of love:
When NBC Sports Boston’s Joe Haggerty quote-tweeted the smooch tweet from Marchand, the Bruins’ winger came back with an emoji of his own:
With the tweet to the Canadiens, Marchand’s not wrong. The Canadiens got off to a dreadful start this past season, losing seven straight games after winning their season opener to drop to 1-6-1. They never really recovered, finishing the season at 29-40-13. That included four losses against the Bruins, four games in which Marchand scored three goals and tallied three assists. One of those goals was an overtime winner.
The Canadiens finished in sixth place in the Atlantic Division and a full 26 points shy of earning a wild-card berth.
Twitter trash talk has become quite common among NHL teams in recent years, with the Los Angeles Kings basically starting a cottage industry. The Kings just this week went back-and-forth against division-rival San Jose with some barbs about losing. The Vegas Golden Knights have certainly gotten involved in the Twitter trash talk game too, and the Knights actually dunked somewhat ferociously on the Canadiens all the way back in September. It’s rare, though, for a player to involve himself in the world of teams trying to cyber-bully one another. Leave it to Marchand to be the one who breaks the mold.
When it comes to smack-talking, even a day after being eliminated, Marchand clearly has the upper hand in this one. Perhaps the Canadiens ought to wade a little more carefully into these waters going forward. They haven’t looked great thus far.