The weekend served Carolina and its fans well with two incredible victories Friday and Sunday. The Hurricanes defeated the San Jose Sharks and the league-leading, Boston Bruins.
The unbelievable comeback win on Friday against the Sharks was tough to match but the Canes did so defeat the Bruins handily by a score of 4-1.
Both are unique and important in themselves, but the week ahead could be even more important.
Most of the NHL is preparing for the All-Star Weekend in Florida this weekend but the Canes will squeeze in two more games before the break.
Tomorrow Carolina will host the Los Angeles Kings at PNC Arena and on Wednesday, the cardiac kids will head up to Buffalo for one last game before a well-deserved break.
Neither of the opponents will present significance, especially the Kings being a Western Conference team.
It is more about who in the division is already on their break.
Currently, the Hurricanes are at the top of the Metro Division with 49 games played and 72 points. Behind them are the New Jersey Devils at 68 points in 49 games. Third in the division are the New York Rangers at 62 points.
Neither of those teams will play again before the All-Star break.
Having a point advantage right now is a huge deal for obvious reasons and for the mentality of the Canes and their oppositions.
If the Canes can grab just a victory it would certainly give some breathing room from the Devils but more importantly, separates the Rangers from contention. The Rangers will surely be looking behind them at the Wild Card race.
However, the winners of their last five games have a chance to grab 4 points before the break.
This would be devastating to the Devils and Rangers heading back from the All-Star break. The pressure to chase the Canes is already evident but 4 more points would give a huge mental advantage for the last few months of the season.
Now, this would by no means guarantee the division, but it would be a great buffer for the Canes were they to hit a slump or struggle with injuries.