As we make it past the mid-way mark of January, the NHL and Metro Division have completed the halfway point of the season for most clubs.
Teams have dug into the season with what they have, and the standings have unveiled the teams that are ready to compete for the Stanley Cup.
The Carolina Hurricanes have played 44 games and sit atop the Metropolitan division with 62 points.
Is it too early to scoreboard-watch?
The Metro division has tightened significantly in the last few weeks since the Canes elevated their games to the top of the mountain.
The New Jersey Devils have climbed back into the race and only trail the Canes by one point, having also played 44 games as of today.
The Devils are streaking once again and have won five straight.
Behind the Devils are the New York Rangers with 57 points in 45 games. The top 3 teams in the Metro division are separated by just five games and the Hurricanes still have 3 games against the Rangers and just one more matchup with the Devils.
With a tight race ahead, those games could determine the winner of the division.
The drop-off between the Wild Card spots and the top three in the division is not by much either. The Washington Capitals have played 46 games with 54 points.
The Pittsburgh Penguins, whom the Hurricanes have beaten 4 times this year, hold the final Wild Card spot with 50 points in 43 games.
Also of note is that another division foe is behind Pittsburgh but tied in points, the New York Islanders.
The Hurricanes head to New York on Saturday to face the Islanders and then they have one more meeting later in the season.
It is a crucial point in the season to avoid any prolonged streak of losing, but also shows the importance of picking up points in the case of a loss. This is something that the Hurricanes have done a lot over the first half of the season.
The Hurricanes have the most OT losses in the Eastern Conference with 8.
Not something to write home about, but those points will be important come April when the dust settles on the Metro division.
For now, the Canes have the Stadium Series to look forward to before the March 3rd trade deadline that is sure to be active.