BOSTON – There’s more than just a playoff series now being waged between the Bruins and Philadelphia.
A controversial second-period scrum has now introduced us to “Bite-Gate.”
After Bruins center Marc Savard took swipe with his stick at Brian Boucher’s puck-filled glove at the 5:55 mark of the middle stanza, defenseman Kimmo Timonen and forward Daniel Carcillo took exception and knocked Savard over.
The ensuing scrum went to the corner with bodies crashing into bodies and gloves and sticks going up in the air. Savard received the lone penalty, for slashing, but that wasn’t the controversy. The soap opera started when Carcillo claimed to the officials that Savard had bit him.
After the game, the Flyers tough guy was sticking to his story.
“I did [get teeth marks],” he said. “Last time I have been bit was in grade school. It is not a good feeling; it is pretty cowardly.”
Considering Savard’s history, it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility that there was a bite. In November 2003, Savard was suspended one game for biting Darcy Tucker of Toronto. Tonight, however, Savard said that Carcillo was the instigator of the hand-to-mouth contact.
“He pummeled my face. He pulled on my teeth, so I guess that’s biting when a guy tries to pull your front teeth out like this,” said the Bruins’ center. “I guess … I don’t know … I don’t see how that [is biting].”
Carcillo is known as a troublemaker on the ice, and earlier in the night he had an exchange of blows with center Steve Begin, who ended up with a crosschecking penalty for retaliating after Carcillo threw a vicious check near Begin’s head at center ice. The referees stood up for Carcillo in that instant but didn’t see what happened in the scrum, according to Carcillo. Video replay of the altercation was pretty inconclusive.
“Oh yeah, that’s what I try to do when I get into a scrum is try to pull people’s teeth out,” he said.
Carcillo also said he was surprised by the alleged bite.
“That he bit me? Yes. Guys don’t bite. Men don’t bite,” he said.
As of 11:30 p.m. it seemed unlikely there was going to be any supplemental discipline against Savard. So more likely this dispute will have to be settled later in this series, maybe as soon as Game 3 Wednesday night in Philly.