The Philadelphia Flyers' slim playoff hopes took what was perhaps the final blow Sunday with a 3-1 loss to the Washington Capitals, and forward Jakub Voracek was critical of his team's recent performances after the game.
"We had a good push, but unfortunately, anytime we got close - three points, five points - and we played those big teams in front of us (in) those four-point games, we choked," Voracek said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Sam Carchidi. "We couldn't find a way to win those big games, and that's why we are where we are right now."
The Flyers attempted to reverse course this season after a sluggish start, as they won 18 of 24 contests from Jan. 14 to March 11. However, Philadelphia since dropped five of its last seven games, all to teams above it in the standings.
It sits eight points back of the final wild-card spot with six games remaining heading into Monday's action. When asked what the team can learn from this season, the 29-year-old was rather blunt in his response.
"I don't want to take anything out of this season, to be honest," said Voracek. "I had way higher expectations. I think everybody did before we walked into the locker room in training camp. It's really disappointing. We have to have a good look in the mirror and straighten some things out before we come in next year."
Outside of reacquiring forward James van Riemsdyk last summer, the Flyers didn't make any major changes to their roster heading into the season. Voracek said he's focusing on his own game when asked what the team can do to improve for next year.
"Tough to say. It's not my decision," Voracek said. "I've got to prepare myself in the summer and come in here in shape and be a better player, more experienced. Hopefully, we won't have to focus on digging ourselves out of a hole by December."
The Flyers host the Maple Leafs on Wednesday after back-to-back losses on the weekend.