Reporting Rick Dayton
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The long standing rivalry between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers was rekindled on Sunday, and the teams will meet on the ice again Saturday.
But before this weekend’s big showdown, fans were lining up to buy playoff tickets for the opening round this morning, and it could be against those hated Flyers.
If the Pens do face the Flyers in the first round, and it were to go to seven games, they would be facing each other nine out their last 11 games.
“Filthy Philly is what I call them. It’s an east/west rivalry,” said Deb Ferencka, of Monroeville. “It kind of seems like it’s gotten worse. It used to be really bad in the beginning when I used to come to the games in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and then it kind of seemed like it went away a little bit and now it’s reared its ugly head again.”
Ferencka was one of about two dozen Pens’ fans who bought tickets the old-fashioned way Tuesday morning, at the box office.
“I got here at a quarter after nine and I thought they would do a lottery, but they didn’t, so I was first in line,” said Michael Greer, of Oakland.
He got four tickets for the first game and four more for the second.
“Hatred,” Greer said of the Flyers. “They are dirty players. I hate Philly.”
Casey Shea covers hockey for KDKA and has a blog on the NHL called “Shea-Ved Ice.” He fears a series with the Flyers could make for an early summer for both teams.
“Nine games over three weeks, it could very well take enough out of them… that they don’t have enough in the tank for the rest of the playoffs,” Shea said.
But Ferencka is confident in the mighty Penguins.
“I think we can beat them,” she said. “We can do it. I have faith in our team.”
There are still a few regular season games to be played, but it appears it will be the Penguins and Flyers in the first round of the post-season playoffs. When those games are being played is still to be decided.