What a difference a year can make. In a league that sometimes can live and die by the words of Janet Jackson, the day after Valentine’s Day seems like a good day to ask “what have you done for me lately”. Some can answer positively; others hang their heads in shame. Let’s take a look at where some players and teams stood exactly one year ago today.

Last year at this point…Ilya Kovalchuk had just 38 points

This year he not only has 52 points, he is coming off a hat trick last night, is just 6 goals back from his total from last year and has 16 points in his last 8 games. This leads us to…

Last year at this point…New Jersey only had 56 points

Last year was a train wreck for the Devils. Jacques Lemaire seemed to right the ship in some capacity but they still couldn’t make the playoffs. Right now they sit 12 points ahead of where they were last season with 68 points which puts them in 6th in the East.

Last year at this point…Washington, Montreal, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Calgary, Dallas and Anaheim were all in playoff positions

That’s right; SEVEN teams that are presently on the outside looking in were holding a playoff spot one year ago today.  Only four of those teams ended up making the playoffs, but right now 4 of them are 7 or more points back of that final spot. On the flip side….

Last year at this point…Florida, Toronto, New Jersey, Ottawa, LA, Chicago and St Louis all were on the outside looking in.

Only the Blackhawks and kings managed to get to the dance. If the playoffs started today, they would all have a spot.

Last year at this point…The St Louis Blues were in 13th place

Right now they are not only in a playoff spot, but would have home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. A big reason for that has been their play at home. If it wasn’t for the Red Wings making NHL history with 21 straight home wins, a lot more attention would be given to the Blues 24-3-4 record in St Louis.

Last year at this point…the Sedins had a combined 141 points

Even though they are both top 11 in the scoring race right now, they have combined for 113 points, that’s a 28 point drop. They are on pace to finish with a combined 165 points, far cry from the 197 we saw in 2010 and 198 in 2011.

Last year at this point…Steven Stamkos had 39 goals

This year Stamkos has been one of the lone bright spots on a disappointing Lightning team, but he is still two goals where he was a year ago.  Last year he let Corey Perry pass him for the Rocket Richard Trophy, this year he has Evgeni Malkin right on his heels (32 goals).

Last year at this point…Scott Gomez had a mind boggling 7 goals

I can make fun of him now that he got the monkey off his back!

******

Let’s head to the Links

H-I-S-T-O-R-Y (Puck Daddy)

OK, I know I gave Kovalchuk some credit above, but this never popped into my head (Pro hockey Talk)

How would Vinny look in the bleu, blanc et rouge? Dirty Dangle takes a look at the longest rumoured traded ever.

It looks like Ryan Smyth will be staying put, which means we won;t be seeing another tearful goodbye (Thank God) . The Fourth Period

The Bruins sign Johnny Boychuk to a three year extension and in turn give the Day’s of Y’Orr a good excuse to use photoshop

The Province fills us in on what a conversation between Rick Nash and The Canucks PR would sound like if he was traded to Vancouver

If you are wondering if you should wave your No-Trade Clause, Down Goes Brown has a quiz that could help you out

Henrik Lundqvist is officially on my “dudes I would love to trade spots with” list (Blueshirt Banter)

and speaking of Henrik, he actually lived after this