Pittsburgh’s 16-Year Postseason Streak Ends

Photo: NHL.com

After the New York Islanders clinched a berth in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, in their 4-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Penguins were eliminated from postseason contention. They had not missed the postseason since 2006, captain Sidney Crosby’s rookie campaign in the NHL, and possessed the longest current postseason streak in North American pro sports of 16 seasons.

This is the first time that center Evgeni Malkin and defenseman Kris Letang have sat out of the postseason in their respective NHL careers.

Pittsburgh enters their final game at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday with a 40-31-10 record (.556 points percentage).

The team is currently 19th in the NHL and will not be able to pick higher than second overall in the first round of the draft on Wednesday, June 28 in Nashville. However, it is very unlikely that they will move up that high. The NHL Draft Lottery is scheduled for Monday, May 8 at 7 PM ET.

Pittsburgh controlled their postseason destiny heading into Tuesday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks, who are tied for 31st in the league, and lost 5-2 at PPG Paints Arena.

Pittsburgh were buyers at the NHL Trade Deadline, acquiring defenseman Dmitry Kulikov from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for left-wing Brock McGinn and a third-round pick in 2024 NHL Draft; center Mikael Granlund from the Nashville Predators in exchange for a second-round pick in 2023 NHL Draft; defenseman Peter DiLiberatore and a third-round pick in 2024 NHL Draft from the Vegas Golden Knights for center Teddy Blueger; and center Nick Bonino from San Jose Sharks for a conditional 2024 fifth-round pick and 2023 seventh-round pick.

The only first-round matchup set in pen right now is the Toronto Maple Leafs, the No. 2 seed in the Atlantic Division, and Tampa Bay Lightning, the No. 3. All 16 postseason spots are secured but positioning is up for grabs.

The 15-game regular-season slate on Thursday will decide the rest of the first-round matchups. The tournament will start on Monday night.

The Washington Capitals and Nashville Predators, who both had the second-longest consecutive postseason streaks heading into this season, will also not make the top eight in their respective conferences.

Some of the early reaction from Pittsburgh

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
This entry was posted in News and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Pittsburgh’s 16-Year Postseason Streak Ends

  1. KimRB says:

    Hee hee!

    It really sucks for them, because not only do they miss the playoffs, they’ll be drafting about 15th or 16th.

    But knowing the Bettman NHL, the Pengwhines will be gifted the lottery win, draft 5th (Will Smith or Matvei Michkov or someone similar) and that player will end up being better than Bedard. Gotta keep the Pengwhines bias rolling!

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Yeah, they were “buyers” at the trade deadline.

      • novafyre says:

        Pits press is really vicious on both HC and GM. With new owners (Fenway Sports Group) entering their second year, heads are expected to roll. Fenway’s NESN is expected to take over regional Pits broadcasts from ATT. So all the articles I read are expecting big changes, similar but even bigger than what Caps fans are expecting.

        • KimRB says:

          OK, that’s scaring me. I knew there had to be a cloud around this silver lining. What will happen is Leonsis will dilly-dally, and keep the same morons in place, because “we want to be competitive while Ovi chases the goal record”. Pittsburgh will proceed to clean house, hire great people, and get back into true contention much quicker.

          “The Penguins are pleased to announce that we have hired Spencer Carbery to be our next head coach”.


          • James says:

            Pittsburgh has always been better at this than the Caps. Remember when Pitts. was as awful as the Caps and got those high draft picks Crosby and Malkin and still managed somehow to contend for the Cup a few years later. I don’t like them, but I’ve always admired them.

            • KimRB says:

              Some people think there’s a conspiracy by the NHL, to get Pittsburgh high quality players, and win them Stanley Cups.

              Hogwash! It’s all because of the globalist cabal of Illuminati groomers, who stole the election away from Hillary Clinton. But it’s not a conspiracy!

    • Diane Doyle says:

      That scenario would be more “on brand” for the Bruins. But I’m sure when Pitt is really bad in a few years, they will get a generational player of some sort.

  2. Diane Doyle says:

    And here’s a fitting song — “Na Na Na Na Hey Hey-ey Goodbye” by Steam

  3. Jon Sorensen says:

    :: sad trombones::

  4. Anonymous says:

    *plays sad song on worlds smallest violin*

  5. Horn73 says:

    Love this of course. Our posters here think the Caps are old with rough contracts…hate on Carson…Pitt has Perry at 35 for 2 more years at 6.25, Letang, 35, at 6.1 for 5 years, Malkin, 36, with 3 more years at 6.1 and of course Syd with 8.7 for a couple more years. And several others around 30 locked up for many years to come…(3 forwards at roughly 5m each per season)

    • franky619 says:

      Yeah except that Sid, Geno and Letang were’nt the problem and they are easily worth their contract, at least for now. There’s no Perry in Pittsburgh you must mean Carter and at 3.125 mil he’s market value. They are’nt paying 9.2 for a 4th liner.

      • James says:

        Exactly! Those guys are still very effective players – a steal at today’s prices. Pittsburgh’s front office is just better at hockey business than Washington’s.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Eliminated. And on 412 day, too. That’s a shame. 😂

  7. Anonymous says:

    Judging by social media, Pens fans may need a few help hotline numbers.

  8. Anonymous says:

    That’s a shame.

  9. Prevent Defense says:

    I wish Lane Lambert and his Isles all the best in the playoffs. His guys showed a lot of heart, hanging in there long enough to outlast Cindy Crosby and the gang

  10. KimRB says:

    At the trade deadline, some Pengwhine fan crowed to me that the team is 8-0 in playoff series when Nick Bonino plays for them.

    Well my friend, that streak is still alive!

  11. Scottlew73 says:

    Yeah I know ALL CAP’S fans are “REJOICING “ but remember this….,at least they still had a chance @ getting in how many games ago were you knocked out????
    Yeah “fire Hextall” ….what about Brian Mac!! Done just as bad a job with same talent!! You really have no room to comment!!

    • KimRB says:

      Almost doesn’t count, except for horseshoes, hand grenades, and the back row of a movie theater, Scooter

      Meanwhile, let’s look down on the farm:

      The Capitals farm team, the Hershey Bears, are fighting for the first seed, in the AHL’s Eastern Conference. That means, if you don’t follow prospects, that our draft picks and young prospects are pretty good. We have kids ready to come up and play for us. We have a good system, that will get better, with this draft.

      And the Wilkes-Barre Penguins, Pittsburgh’s farm team, will miss the playoffs, just like their parent club. The Penguins system is usually ranked near the bottom.

      We have every right to laugh at you clowns. We have a head start on our rebuild. Tee hee!

      • franky619 says:

        Pittsburgh farm system is ranked dead last by most but Caps system is’nt ranked much higher. Usually 30th or 31st by most analyst. Ahl success does’nt mean much and there’s certainly no bluechip prospect playing in hershey.

        • KimRB says:

          I’ve read several rankings. The Caps are generally ranked in the early 20s. Not great, but much better than dead last.
          It’s pretty rare to have a “blue chip” prospect in the AHL, except for a defenseman or goalie. High scorers usually get to the NHL. We have Miroshnichenko in Russia and Suzdalev in the WHL. These guys will make good NHLers. And a few unspectacular, though very solid, players like Iorio, McMichael etc. Pittsburgh has pretty much no guaranteed NHLers anywhere.

          • novafyre says:

            Same as what I have read — quite a few spots between Caps and Pits on farm teams rankings.

            In the ECHL, the Pits’ affiliate Nailers have missed the playoffs coming in 5th in Central. Caps’ Stingrays are first in South.

            In the AHL, the Baby Pits are 29th in the league while the Bears are 3rd.

            • KimRB says:

              I love how this troll is cherry picking what others have written. Probably never watched an AHL or CHL game in his life, much less a European game. Oh well. I need a hobby, till the Bears playoffs start. I’ll bat him around a little for fun.

          • franky619 says:

            Best I’ve seen is 24th by THW and their best prospect are probably Miro…, Suzdalev and Chesley and none of them are garanteed NHLers or good NHLers. There’s no one coming from Hershey other than 3rd and 4th liner. Mcm being the one with the highest upside has’nt done much when given the chancewith the big club.

            • KimRB says:

              Have you actually WATCHED these prospects, or are you just cherry picking what other people are writing? I’ve watched every player in the Caps system this year. And I’ve seen the Baby Pens play about 20 times. There’s no comparison. Pitt has nothing. Zero. Zilch.

              Those rankings are subjective. Most of them don’t go by future NHL players, they go by skill and scoring. Just because you don’t have a Top Ten, future 100 point scorer, or a future Norris winner, doesn’t mean you’re devoid of talent.

              Suzdalev will make the NHL, but needs to work on several things, mostly defense and intensity. It’s easier to teach a offensive player defense, than the other way around. He was once regarded as a potential first rounder. The Caps love to pluck players who have fallen. Chesley made the US junior team, and was a freshman on a college team. They typically don’t get much ice time. He has still has a high ceiling. Iorio is almost certainly an NHLer. Ethen Frank set an AHL record for skating speed. He could possibly challenge for fastest hockey player on the planet. And he has an NHL quality shot.

              Oh yeah, we also signed a reclamation project named Dylan Strome, who has 70 points. He’s 26. Does Pitt gave any young stars?

              Face it, Spanky. The Caps don’t have the best system, but it’s waaaaaaaaay beyond Shittsburghs. You’re rationalizing.

              • franky619 says:

                Pittsburgh farm system is bad no argument there you must have some kind of gift or maybe someone gave you a tip?. Suzdalev is playing with Bedard, that ring a bell and yes right now he looks a lot like Mantha did in his junior yrs. Chesly did have a good year so did Miro and they’re still far from being regular NHLer
                or good one for that matter. Caps take chance as they should since they’re usually drafting outside the top 20. Rankings are subjective finally making some sense. Frank maybe we’ll see next year he’s fast no doubt, Strome’s a regular not a prospect, and yes seems they struck gold. Congrats for realizing that it’s easier to teach defense than offense, quite an accomplishment for someone as mentally challenged as you are..
                Other than that keep it up I enjoy reading your comments Grumpy.

                • KimRB says:

                  I’m just teaching you things that you don’t know. Someone has to. You’re entirely incapable of original thought and research, and have to read and regurgitate what others wrote, instead of actually watching, and forming your own opinion. But that’s hard to do. It takes practice, and a vast knowledge of hockey.

                  Suzdalev was rated highly BEFORE he played for Regina. He played in Sweden (has dual Swedish/Russian citizenship).

                  You know I’m right. That’s why you’re losing your temper. You need a timeout, Scooter.

                  Thank you for enjoying my comments. I enjoy writing them!

            • KimRB says:

              Washington rankings:

              THW Horn: 23
              Athletic Wheeler: 25
              Athletic Pronman: 24

              The average is 24. Like I said, early 20s. You should research, before you mouth off. The Penguins arent just near the bottom. They’re waaaaay behind everyone but Tampa.

              • franky619 says:

                Hey don’t worry about my temper you’re not annoying enough to make me lose it, at least not yet, I can assure you all my comments are authentic and you’ve got nothing to teach me, I’ve been watching and playing that game for a couple decades now so there’s no regurgitating it’s all fresh. Did’nt need anyone telling me that if Backstrom came back the Caps would suck and missed the playoffs, nobody agreed but still I was right. I did’nt know they would have the worst record or close to it thou. You were one of those thinking the team would be better with him in the line up, shows how little you actually know other than repeating what others have written or said. But keep trying eventually you’ll get something right.

                • KimRB says:

                  Please show me where I wrote that the team would be better with Backstrom…..I’ll wait. What I said most about him was that he wasn’t going to retire, because he’s owed money. Far cry from saying he’d make the team better.

                  Like I said, you haven’t had an original thought. Playing hockey doesn’t mean you have the ability to properly assess talent, it just means you can skate.

                  “But keep trying eventually you’ll get something right.”

                  If saying things like that helps you with the cognitive dissonance, go for it. Whatever helps you sleep at night.

                  • franky619 says:

                    Like it or not I’ve not been proven wrong very often when it comes to evaluating players or team. Now give your Mom her laptop back before she cuts your internet privilege.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can’t sugar-coat this one! Cindy’s Ladies are beginning their decline, just as predicted by NovaCapsFans staff early in the season.

  12. Jon Sorensen says:

    Greetings folks! Just a quick note, if you haven’t done so already, please consider subscribing to NoVa Caps posts in the “subscribe” box located in the upper right corner. Thank you!

Leave a Reply