That's where Columbus Blue Jackets were at the end of the season last season.
That's where virtually every pre-season NHL poll expected the Blue Jackets to be right now.
Where the Blue Jackets are with 5 games left to play in the season.
The Blue Jackets have been exceeding expecations since early March. They've embraced over used sports cliches and somehow found a way to actually embody them.
They've rebuilt the team, indeed the hockey operations department with the now famous "brick-by-brick" mantra which now looks more like "cinder-block-by-cinder-block"
There are words of inspiration on the walls all over the Blue Jackets dressing room.
None more fitting than the following phrase which is on the wall in the training area.
"Be proud of the way we work" it says.
Anyone who has followed the team's success since the beginning of March would have to agree there is plenty to be proud of.
The team is 15-4-4 since March 1. They have picked up 34 of the team's 47 points in that span.
They are currently riding a 4-game winiing streak and flirting with a bid to the post-season.
Whether they make the playoffs or not, their spring surge has made an impression on fans, opponents and those who have covered the NHL for much longer than the Blue Jackets have been a part of it.
Kevin Allen, who covers the NHL for USA today listed the Jackets' season as one of the top 4 biggest surprises in the league this season.
Head coach Todd Richards has said many times over the last few weeks that his team believes in itself and its ability to win every night out. That belief pushed the Blue Jackets to dramatic come from behind wins on the first two games of their current road trip.
The Jackets were sleep-walking through a game at Minnesota Saturday night, riding the amazing goaltending of Sergei Bobrovsky into overtime at the XCel Energy Center.
But Mark Letestu and Cam Atkinson scored in the extra period and Bobrovsky stood tall to earn the Jackets the victory.
Monday night in Colorado, The Jackets committed a late penalty which lead to a late Colorado goal which seemed certain to be the game winner for the Avs.
Instead, R.J. Umberger scored a goal with a minute to play to force overtime and Nick Foligno won it for Columbus in overtime.
Umberger said afterward, "Everyboyd knew we were going to win this game."
There's that belief thing again.
The Blue Jackets and their belief are in California for the next two games. Many have come west looking for fame and fortune. The Jackets just want a spot on the playoffs.
They managed to shed the "Same-old-Jackets label with this run.
The blue collar team was devoid of a super-star when the season began but they are in the process of developing one now.
Bobrovsky, the Russian with a "Just stop the puck" attitude has personified the team's run to the cusp of the post-season. He has almost single-handidly brought respect back to a team that barely respected itself a year ago.
He's collected four shut-outs since March 9th and has been recognized as one of the NHL stars of the week three times since the beginning of March.
(For you Buckeye fans still learning the game, that is like being named Big Ten Player of the Week.)
But it's been about much more than Bobrovsky.
For all the talk of heart, belief and hard work, this is first and foremost a team. Not a team blessed with an over abundance of talent--No Jackets player is among the top 30 in the league in goals, assists or points--but a team hell bent on proving people wrong.
Defenseman Jack Johnson has said as much this season. "The experts were wrong", Johnson said during the middle of the team's franhise record 12-game point streak.
There's no Rick Nash but there is a conviction to change the culture. A determination to end the losing and reshape the organization's reputation.
The process is underway earlier and with more urgency than anyone expected.
They may not be a part of the playoff picture this year, but the Columbus Blue Jackets have turned enough heads and changed enough minds to make believers out of us all.