This is who Brad Marchand is for the Boston Bruins, 92 games and parts of two seasons into his NHL career: A player who can deflate an opponent with a brilliant shorthanded goal, like the one he scored against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night; and a player that will reinvigorate that opponent with an ill-advised taunt.
Like, for example, mocking the Leafs bench by mimicking a golf swing, as he did during the second period of the Bruins' 4-3 shootout loss. Which really isn't the epitome of sportsmanship, despite its undeniable accuracy.
After a scrum, Marchand made a golf-swing gesture that probably got under the skin of some of the blue-and-white-wearing players. It also irked the Bruins' bench boss.
"I got a little bit of an earful [from Claude Julien between periods]," admitted Marchand after the game, "it won't happen again."
Marchand said that Phil Kessel popped him in the mouth and there should've been a penalty. Instead there was a razzing from the bench and then the gesture. "That was a little immature of me. I shouldn't have done that," said the pesky winger.
Oh, to be a fly on the wall for that coach/rookie conversation, considering that on March 31 and after a tough loss, the second question Julien received in his postgame press conference was about Marchand's maturity. The coach said:
"It's just one of those things. He's been a good player for us and, again, his emotions can sometimes be a positive but sometimes you don't want to cross the line. You certainly don't like that when it happens. So it's just a learning process."
Yet for the yappy and scrappy Marchand, it's par for the course. But he's no Andrew Peters, who at least had the good sense to get his swing time on camera:
UPDATE: Check out Douglas Flynn of NESN, who spotted the golf swing from the press box, and his coverage of Marchand's taunt.