With the Flyers staying home for the second postseason in the last three years, one interesting aspect of their final six regular-season games is whether they can crown the first scoring champion in franchise history.
The Flyers were eliminated from the playoff race Sunday when the Boston Bruins beat the Carolina Hurricanes, 2-1, in overtime.
Winger Jake Voracek trails Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby by three points in the scoring race. Voracek has 21 goals and 55 assists for 76 points. Crosby has 79 points and John Tavares of the New York Islanders has 77.
Voracek, 25, would much rather talk about the team, but after a 3-2 shootout loss to San Jose on Saturday, he briefly discussed what winning a scoring title would mean.
"Obviously I wouldn't feel bad, but like I said, it's hard for me to think about it because there are so many great players around me," he said. "I'm just going to go out there and play my game and hope to get a few points and a win."
One thing he won't do is track Crosby game by game. Voracek said he had no idea of Crosby's point total until reporters told him.
"I mean, he's the best player in the world," Voracek said. "I just have to worry about myself and my game and if it's going to come it's going to come."
The Flyers will play Crosby's Penguins twice in the final six games. The Flyers, who did not practice Sunday, resume action Wednesday in Pittsburgh.
Goalie Steve Mason, who was a teammate of Voracek's in Columbus, says he isn't surprised by his progression. "He has taken that next step," Mason said. "You always knew he could be a special player."
Last season, Voracek had career highs in goals (23) and assists (39).
"The biggest difference this year is experience and I am more patient with the puck than before," said Voracek, who is completing his fourth season with the Flyers.
Since the inception of the franchise in 1967-68, the Flyers are still searching for their first NHL scoring champion. (In the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season, the Flyers Eric Lindros and Pittsburgh's Jaromir Jagr tied for the points lead with 70, but Jagr had more goals, 32-29. The tiebreaker was goals and Jagr was declared the scoring champion.)
Voracek has shown durability. This is the third straight season in which he hasn't missed a game. Voracek has played in 220 consecutive games.
"You have to prepare in the summer and contain it in the season and also be lucky because there is physicality on the ice," he said.
Voracek earned his first all-star berth this season. He is tied with Washington's Nicklaus Backstrom for the NHL lead in assists.
"Well, he's playing with more confidence, I think," captain Claude Giroux said. "When he gets the puck, he makes a lot of plays, and I'm lucky enough to play on his line that I try to get open for him."