The Pittsburgh Penguins saw their season effectively end on Wednesday night. As a result of the New York Islanders defeating the Montreal Canadiens, the Penguins are eliminated from playoff contention.
The last time the Penguins missed the playoffs came in 2005-06. Pittsburgh's roster featured young Sidney Crosby in his rookie season and their second-highest point-getter that season scored nearly 50 fewer points than a rookie Crosby.
Crosby is still playing at a high level this year, scoring 91 points in 81 games at age 35. However, his efforts are essentially all for naught, and Penguins Twitter is not happy about it in the slightest.
This was a complete waste of a season. An all-time failure by a front office to put a winning team around a core that still has it. They had Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang at below-market value and still managed to build a non-playoff team. It's honestly impressive
— Hunter (@HunterHodies) April 13, 2023
Front office changes needed. The core deserves better.
— Drew Cagle (@cagles_bagels) April 13, 2023
YOUR NEXT TWEET BETTER BE “The penguins have fired Ron Hextall” OR WE REVOLT
— Pirates Bring Me Pain (@PghPrinny) April 13, 2023
Thanks for literally nothing, Hextall. You can leave now
— Taylor (@tayburgh7) April 13, 2023
Time to fire Hextall into the sun. #FireHextall
— Did the Pens Win? (@DidPengWin) April 13, 2023
Honestly I'm not surprised the Pens didn't make the playoffs they blew to many leads also no consistent goaltending no bottom 6 at all and HEXTALL NEEDS FIRED IMMEDIATELY AND Sullivan should be on the hot seat as well.
— Mike Toye (@mike_toye7) April 13, 2023
Many fans called for the job of general manager Ron Hextall on Wednesday. Hextall has led the Pittsburgh front office since 2021, and has made a few controversial moves at the helm.
One move Penguins fans have pointed out regards the expansion draft for the Seattle Kraken. Hextall chose to use forward Jared McCann as a roster casualty, trading him to the Toronto Maple Leafs before he was selected by the Kraken.
McCann has gone on to have major success for the Kraken. The former Penguins star had 50 points in his first season in Seattle, and recently became the team's first 40-g0al scorer this season.
The Penguins face a lot of questions heading into this offseason. Names such as Jason Zucker and Brian Dumoulin are likely gone, and the team's coaching staff could look very different in 2023-24.
Pittsburgh almost certainly has a mandate to return to the playoffs next season. Only time will tell if their stay outside the playoff picture is a short-lived one.