Let's see how the NHL was shaping up one year ago today as the NHL approached the 30-game mark of the season:
- The Maple Leafs were sitting 6th in the conference and Toronto fans were already talking possible playoff matches. The Maple Leafs ended up 5th last in the league and went from talking about matchups to the lottery draft.
- After a dismal start to the season, the Boston Bruins got over their Stanley Cup hangover and sat in 2nd place which is where they would end up at the end of the regular season.
- Dale Tallon's rag-tag group of overpaid third liners for the Florida Panthers were turning heads and leading the Southeast Division by 6 points over the Washington Capitals. The Panthers would battle to the wire just to make the playoffs, but hang on to that 3rd seed in the East before bowing out in the first round of the playoffs.
- Down in 12th place one year ago, the Devils would only lose 15 more regulation games during the season to finish 6th in the conference from the strong Atlantic division. They're impressing roll would end against the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Final.
- The Columbus Blue Jackets sucked in December and continued to suck all year long including losing the Lottery Draft.
- The St. Louis Blues were on fire defensively with the 2nd best goals against thanks to the goalie tandem of Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott. They would keep that heat going and end up 2nd in the West and finish the season with the best goals against average in the league.
- The Detroit Red Wings were sporting an impressive 12-2-1 home record and were 9-0-0 in their last 9 home games. If you remember, this home winning streak would continue for another 14 games as the Wings would set an NHL record with 23 consecutive home wins (with shootouts included).
- The Los Angeles Kings and eventual Stanley Cup winners were currently sitting 19th overall in the league and 12th in the West. They would catch fire before the playoffs and we all know how that ended...
It feels so long ago...