If the Philadelphia Flyers want to win in Pittsburgh on Saturday— and in the first round of their probable first round Stanley Cup playoff series— they will have to do it without their good luck charm— buckets of ribs from their favorite BBQ joint.
Peter Laviolette said the reason for the Flyers' recent success against the Penguins in Pittsburgh is because DeeJay's, a popular restaurant in nearby Weirton, W. Va., has been supplying the Flyers team with its favorite postgame meal.
The Flyers head coach claims that— since the restaurant has been delivering the food to the Flyers' charter plane— the visitors are 5-0-0 at the Consol Energy Center since its opening on Oct. 7, 2010.
When the owner of DeeJay's, Dewey Guida, started getting heat from Penguins fans for helping the cross-state rivals, he vowed not to serve the good luck take-out to the Flyers team anymore.
"No more ribs for them," said Guida. ""And I pray, I hope, that the Penguins beat their skates off."
Guida, whose grill has hosted famous athletes, coaches and even presidents in its 24 years of business, is a die-hard Penguins fan, and said he's known Laviolette from his coaching days with the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL in 1997-98.
"It started out so innocent," said Guida. "Peter Laviolette and I have been friends for years. We became friends, and we've kept the relationship up over the years, as I have with other coaches, like Scotty Bowman and Eddie Johnston."
Nothing comes between a friendship like a Stanley Cup playoff series spot— especially between two teams whose last minute brawl on Sunday cost already cost Laviolette a $10,000 fine.
"Those ribs seem to do the trick," Laviolette told reporters after Sunday's 6-4 win in Pittsburgh. "Whenever the ribs are ordered, we win. I want to thank DeeJay's."
This quote set off a firestorm of protests against the rib joint from Pens fans. The controversy has Guida doing a lot of public relations— via radio, television and print interviews— to show Pittsburgh he won't support the enemy.
Looks like the Flyers will have to brown bag some cheesesteak sandwiches in the future.