By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Despite repeated regular season success and qualifying for the postseason, both the Pittsburgh Penguins and Pittsburgh Steelers have recently left a lot to be desired among the city’s fans as they have struggled to win playoff games.
Between the Penguins and the Steelers, since winning their last respective championships, the two teams have combined to have a losing record of 14-23.
Penguins Playoff Woes
The Penguins’ recent struggles have come in the past few postseason ventures on the heels of their 2016 and 2017 Stanley Cup titles.
Since winning the Stanley Cup in those two postseasons, the team has gone 9-16, losing their past three playoff series’, and now trail the New York Islanders 3 games to 2 and are facing elimination, needing to win the next two games to avoid falling for a fourth straight series.
In 2018, the Penguins defeated the Flyers in the first round in six games.
The current streak of losing playoff series’ then began, with losing to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals in six games in 2018.
The following season, the Penguins were unable to win a playoff game, falling in a 4-game sweep to the New York Islanders in 2019.
Last year, after a paused season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Penguins faced the Canadiens in the qualifying round in the Toronto bubble, losing 3 games to 1 in a 5-game series.
Prior to winning Game 2 and Game 3 of the Penguins’ current series against the Islanders, the team had lost 12 of its last 14 games.
Across town, the Steelers’ playoff struggles have been just as prevalent as they have been for the Penguins, logging a 5-7 postseason record in the 12 years since last winning the Super Bowl, in 7 playoff appearances.
The Steelers followed up their Super Bowl XLIII appearance in 2008 with returning to the big game in 2011, losing to the Green Bay Packers in Dallas.
Two straight postseason losses followed that Super Bowl appearance, falling to Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos in 2012 and the Baltimore Ravens in 2013.
The team got back to its winning postseason ways in 2016 with a wild-card round win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Injuries derailed high hopes that year, with the Broncos again beating the Steelers, this time in the Divisional round.
The Steelers’ highest Super Bowl hopes came the following year in 2017, after dispatching the Miami Dolphins at Heinz Field, hitting the road and knocking off the Kansas City Chiefs, but ultimately were defeated in the AFC Championship Game at the hands of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
The win over the Chiefs in January of 2017 was the last postseason victory for the Steelers, having lost a home-game in the Divisional round to Jacksonville Jaguars in 2018.
The team’s most recent playoff failure came this past January, losing to long-time division rival Cleveland Browns.
The Steelers hope to get back to their winning ways this coming season.
2021 NFL strength of schedule based on current rosters.
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) May 4, 2021
It won’t come easy as the team has the most difficult schedule based on winning percentages from last season.