Well, Boston Bruins fans, your 2018 season is over, at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
And sadly, that means it’s time to rehash what went wrong, which is going to feel like throwing salt in fresh wounds. But, fear not because Brad Marchand is here for you! He will be returning to Beantown to focus on his summer gig, licking the wounds of every salty Bruins fan that watched their favorite teams season get turned into a thousand memes.
Seriously Boston, he’s your rat.
Little Ball of Ewww
Maybe if the Little Ball of Hate had spent a little more time focusing on hockey and a little less time treating opponents like a snozzberry on Willy Wonka’s lickable wallpaper this series would have gone a little differently. Or at the very least, we’d be talking about hockey instead of wracking our brains for jokes, puns, and memes in (dis)honor of Boston’s Lickey Lickerton.
Of note, the league is finally getting a little tired of Boston’s sideshow bob (what took you so long). The idea that this even has to be a conversation is astonishing, and youth hockey coaches around the world are now having to inform six-year-olds that it is not okay to lick opponents, something even they wouldn’t have done prior to Marchand’s attempt to do body shots mid-game.
The funny thing is you know Marchand thought this was an ingenious idea to get under the skin of his opponents, and now it will be a legacy that chases him well into the future. I myself will never look at the flip-flopping, chirpy little pest the same ever again.
Perhaps the Bruins should get him a frozen teething ring for next year, I hear those help with excessive slobbering.
But, all kidding aside, the Bruins losing just saved the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins equipment managers some headaches and budgetary concerns. They’ve been burning the midnight oil looking for a company that makes NHL branded hazmat suits just in case the Bruins pulled off a stunning comeback.
Dodged a bullet there boys and girls, because that would have given new meaning to the term hotbox.
It used to be when a team finished a series against the big, bad Bruins it felt like they’d need to don riot gear just to get through the handshake line. Who can forget the days when Milan Lucic was threatening rookies?
Ah, the good old days. Back when Beantown could be proud of a team that ALWAYS took the high road…I’ll wait while you stop laughing.
Now, they seem a lot less intimidating when the new normal is walking the handshake line with a spit shield.
Throughout the playoffs, the B’s top line of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, and Marchand dominated and they came out of the gates looking ready to do the same as they put on a show in Game 1. The trio scored three goals and finished with 11 points between them.
They had been on a roll, and they were making it hard to count them out against the high flying Bolts. In fact, many believed this would be a long and competitive series.
If only they’d stayed the course.
However, I can’t help bringing this up again, because this is literally the ONLY thing anyone is going to remember about the 2018 playoff run for the Bruins.
Congratulations Marchand, you went from the Little Ball of Hate to that sad little boy that gets labeled a biter at preschool.
This is your legacy. Your family must be so proud.
Because no one will remember how dominant your top line was, or that Tuukka Rask lost his skate blade, then lost his mind when he got scored on because the play wasn’t whistled dead.
Hey Tuukka, that rule only applies to your mask.
But, seriously no one will remember any of that. They will only remember #Lickgate.
If only Bergeron and Zdeno Chara could put a leash on their dog before Marchand turned the entire NHL into a sideshow as he tried to see how many licks it would take to get into Ryan Callahan’s head in Game 4.
Spoiler Alert: You’re doing it wrong!
Unfortunately, there is one thing that the Bruins, the NHL, and their fans will be thinking about all summer. The health and well being of David Backes. A head-on head collision ended his game and likely would have put his availability for the rest of the series and possibly playoffs in doubt had the Bruins been able to mount any kind of comeback and salvage the series.
They did not, but that doesn’t make the situation with Backes any less concerning. Hopefully, it won’t be a long-term issue and Backes will be on the mend very soon.
The Marchand Rules
In the meantime, the NHL will undoubtedly have to add a new rule this summer to clarify that it is not okay for a fully grown adult male to lick other fully grown adult males while representing the league on or off the ice. Yes, this is now a thing, and even I feel shamed by it. If only Marchand had any shame at all, but past behavior seems to indicate that he does not.
In addition, next year players will be expected to get their rabies shots, and Marchand will be forced to skate with one of those cones they use for dogs with hotspots.
Boston, be gone with you and your little rat, too.
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