No ugliness? Just wait

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 1:27 PM ET


 All's quiet on the Eastern Conference front.

 While the Maple Leafs-Philadelphia Flyers series has seen some tremendous hits, great goaltending and the occasional flash of offensive brilliance, there has been little of what usually distinguishes a playoff series between these two.

 Controversy and bad blood.

 Last year, when the Leafs took on the Flyers, the Toronto dressing room was rocked with dissension. Shayne Corson quit the team mid-series. There was talk of cliques inside the room. Philadelphia star Jeremy Roenick ripped the Air Canada Centre faithful for cheering when he was nailed by Robert Svehla and collapsed on the ice in a heap.

 And when the series was over, Tie Domi criticized some of his European teammates for jumping at the chance to play in the world championship right after the Leafs were eliminated in seven.

 This year, in the first two games, at least, there was precious little name-calling or finger-pointing.

 "We've had two games in six or seven days, so it hasn't started yet," Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said before last night's game. "We'll get some name-calling going well pretty soon."

 Leafs coach Pat Quinn -- who courted controversy before the series when he suggested that it wasn't difficult to get a "hate" on for the Flyers -- scowled when asked about the absence of mudslinging in this series.

 "It's one of the elements of the media, controversy," he said. "And conflict. What's the other (word)? It all has to do with crap. That's spelled with a C as well."

 Roenick, who can usually be counted on to get the blood boiling, has been surprisingly quiet.

 "I think I have to be more focused mentally," Roenick said earlier. "People hear from me enough during the year. The playoffs is more of a time of actions than words."

 NO VERBAL FIRE

 Flyers tough guy Donald Brashear, who has had less than complimentary things to say about Domi in the past, is a little surprised by the lack of verbal fire from the Leafs.

 "The game is about scoring goals and not getting scored upon," he said. "I guess they're thinking a little more that way."


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