ST. LOUIS -- There are two ways to view the late-season skid that took the Flyers out of playoff contention.
Glass half empty: This team needs at least three major additions before it can even think of being a serious Stanley Cup contender.
Glass half full: The Flyers are improving their draft-lottery odds of landing a higher pick.
Entering Wednesday’s action, the Flyers had the league’s 11th-worst record. They had a 3 percent chance to get the No. 1 overall draft pick, a 3.3 percent chance to get the No. 2 pick, and a 3.6 percent chance to get the No. 3 pick, according to tankathon.com.
In 2017, they went from No. 13 to No. 2 -- they had a 2.4 percent chance of that happening -- and drafted Nolan Patrick.
The Flyers played only 30 good minutes in their latest loss, a 6-2 wipeout in Dallas on Tuesday, their eighth defeat in the last 11 games. The Stars, who clinched a Western Conference playoff berth, are coached by former Flyer Jim Montgomery.
Up next on their Ex-Flyers Tour: St. Louis on Thursday. The Blues, a team that has made an amazing in-season transformation -- much like the Flyers before their late-season collapse — are directed by Craig Berube, the former Flyers player and coach.
On Saturday, the Flyers will finish their disappointing season by hosting Carolina, coached by Rod Brind’Amour, a former Philadelphia standout.
Berube has revived a Blues team that was last in the 31-team NHL on Jan. 2, when it had a 15-18-4 record for 34 points. (At the time, the Flyers had 35 points.)
Since then, the Blues have gone 28-10-5. They are the seventh team since the NHL’s 1967-68 expansion to get into the playoffs after ranking last in the NHL after New Year’s Day. St. Louis has 95 points, one behind Winnipeg and Nashville for the top spot in the Central Division. All three teams have two games remaining.
Leading the way has been 25-year-old rookie goalie Jordan Binnington, who has a 22-5-1 record with a 1.85 GAA and .928 save percentage, and forwards Vladimir Tarasenko (32 goals) and Ryan O’Reilly (74 points).
Berube was named the interim head coach on Nov. 19, replacing Mike Yeo when the Blues had a 7-9-3 record and were at the bottom of the Central Division. He spent 11 seasons in different coaching roles with the Flyers organization, and compiled a 75-58-28 record as their head coach from 2013 to 2015 before being replaced by Dave Hakstol.
While the Blues are trying to finish strong and take momentum into the playoffs, the Flyers are playing out the string. Since being eliminated from the playoff race Saturday, they have lost their last two games to the Rangers and Dallas by a combined 9-2.
In Tuesday’s loss in Dallas, the Flyers fell into a 2-0 hole for the 30th time in their 80 games.
“When you’re always chasing the game, it’s tough,” defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere said. “You’re going to get more tired, so I think for us, it’s about bearing down a little bit and getting better starts.”
The Flyers have been outscored, 86-59, in the first period this season, a major reason they missed the playoffs for the fourth time in seven years.