VOORHEES, N.J. -- Maxime Talbot
said Tuesday he never experienced the emotional roller coaster a player sometimes can go through when he's about to face his old team and some of his best friends for the first time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"I think the big test for me was during the regular season, and it went pretty good against the Penguins so personally I just basically built on that," Talbot, who played six seasons with Pittsburgh before joining the Flyers over the summer, said. "When it happened, I take it as a challenge and it's definitely been a good challenge. I like it."
Talbot said he also was prepared for the Flyers-Penguins series because he expected it to happen all along. Flyers coach Peter Laviolette
said he never had any reservations or concerns about how Talbot would respond playing against Sidney Crosby
and Evgeni Malkin
, who are some of his best friends.
"I did not have any concerns about Max," Laviolette said. "We never had a conversation or any of that pause in my thought process of using him against any players because maybe it would be hard to play against them. It's not about that right now, and I think it has shown in how Max has played. He's a guy that doesn't care. He's ready to play and it doesn't matter who it is against."
Talbot has played well, too. He's scored a shorthanded goal in each of the last two games and has three goals plus an assist in the series. He's coming off a regular season in which he posted career-highs in goals (19), assists (15) and points (34).
His best season as a Penguin was in 2006-07, when he had 26 points.
"You'd be hard pressed to find a stride on the ice that doesn't matter," Laviolette said of Talbot. "It doesn't matter which way he's going, he accounts for every stride. He makes sure he works. He makes sure he does his job. He's a passionate guy and he's a terrific team guy. We found out offensively he could contribute as well. It's been a terrific addition to our team.
"He's a leader smothered in character. That's been real important for our team."
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl