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A Silver Lining in Flyers’ Latest Loss (Hint: It’s Draft-Related)

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Seattle, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Carter Hart, Philadelphia Flyers
Seattle's Oliver Bjorkstrand celebrates after scoring against the Flyers on Thursday. The Kraken rolled to a 6-2 win. Photo: AP.

For the Philadelphia Flyers, the picture is coming into focus.

After overachieving for most of the season and putting themselves in the playoff conversation, the Flyers have lost three straight. There is now little question that they will be sellers at the March 3 trade deadline.

They were never in the game in their latest loss, a 6-2 setback Thursday in Seattle.

In their two-year existence, the Kraken have put together a much better team than the Flyers. Shrewd trades and signings have helped immensely.

Now it’s up to general manager Chuck Fletcher to make some moves and get the Philadelphia Flyers on a similar path as Seattle, which plays with speed and an in-your-face mentality on defense. They are much quicker to the puck than the Flyers.

In two losses to the Kraken (31-18-6) this season, the Flyers (22-24-10) managed just 18 and 19 shots, respectively.

The Kraken are allowing the third-fewest shots per game (27.9) in the NHL.

Flyers coach John Tortorella was in no mood to talk about his team’s latest loss.

“It’s pretty self-explanatory what you saw out there, so you don’t need my comments,” he said. “I am not going to talk about my hockey team after a performance like that. It doesn’t do me any good, it doesn’t do the team any good. Those are the people I’m most concerned about.”

The Flyers allowed two power-play goals, and gave up another score on a delayed penalty. They also surrendered a shorthanded goal.

“We just weren’t very sharp,” left winger James van Riemsdyk said about his turnover-plagued team. “I don’t know what we want to blame it on, if it’s the travel, or we just weren’t ready.”

Or Seattle is just that much better.

Gain in draft lottery

There are two ways to look at the Flyers’ three-game skid. Yes, they have virtually fallen out of the playoff hunt, but they are at least gaining ground in the draft lottery.

The Flyers had been the league’s 22nd-best team recently; they are now 25th. They are the NHL’s eighth-worst team.

If they remained in that position, they would have a 6% chance at winning the draft lottery and getting to pick generational center Connor Bedard, per tankathon.com. Columbus (18.5%) and Chicago (13.5%) have the best odds.

On the ice, the only positive to come out of Thursday’s disaster was Travis Konecny’s two goals. He snapped a 13-game goal-less streak and now has a career-high 26 goals.

Konecny is the first Flyer with 25-plus goals in a season snice Sean Couturier (33) and van Riemsdyk (27) both did it in 2018-19.

Breakaways

Bedard, 17, has 96 points (48 goals, 48 assists) for Regina in 39 WHL games. … The Flyers play in Vancouver (21-30-4) on Saturday night. Only four NHL teams have fewer points than the Canucks. … Konecny had eight shot attempts (three on goal) Thursday. … Noah Cates, who had a pair of assists, is tied for seventh among NHL rookies with 24 points.

Report: 4 Teams Showing Interest in Flyers’ JVR

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