Flyers/Pens: Calm before the storm

PITTSBURGH -- There is little left to say but there were plenty of people saying it in the Flyers' and Penguins' locker rooms at Consol Energy Center. The buildup to this first-round playoff series has been enormous, fueled by the emotions of the last couple of weeks.

Given a chance to revisit the events of two weekends ago, when the Penguins' Joe Vitale flattened the Flyers' Danny Briere near the end of an already-decided game and Flyers coach Peter Laviolette went berserk on the bench, Laviolette declined. It was the tone, frankly, in both dressing rooms. There was no fuel, no fire, just the widespread attempt to act and speak easily and evenly in the hours before the start of the series.

Laviolette did it and so did the Penguins' Sidney Crosby, who was recently called a punk and a whiner and other kind things by the tag-team combination of Rangers coach John Tortorella and NBC analyst Mike Milbury. On the eve of destruction, Crosby did nothing to incite emotions. That is for later.

“A lot of times, you forget about all of that stuff,” Crosby said. “That’s there during a playoff series -- maybe not to this extent, but nobody ever really remembers what is said. They only remember who wins the series. I think both teams are more focused on that.”

It is the stuff of headlines but, Crosby said, not anything that fires him up.

“I really don’t need any extra motivation, to be honest with you,” he said.

It was like that from locker to locker.

Calm before the storm.

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