Don't look now, but the St. Louis Blues might be a legitimate threat out of the Western Conference.

A month and a half into the 2018-19 NHL season, the Central Division contenders were severely under-performing before coach Mike Yeo was dismissed on Nov. 19. At that time, St. Louis was a subpar 7-9-3 and looking like maybe the fifth-best team in its division -- well behind anticipated playoff teams such as the Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets. It didn't get markedly better as the new year approached, with the Blues still under .500 through January.

But then Craig Berube's bunch found rejuvenation behind rookie goalie Jordan Binnington. They unleashed a 12-1-1 run in February that put them back into the postseason picture. Now, with the Stanley Cup Playoffs right around the corner, St. Louis is squarely in third in the Central, with only four teams ahead of them in the entire West.

It's why the Blues have cracked the top 10 in our latest edition of NHL Power Rankings, and it's why, aside from maybe the Presidents' Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning and defensively stacked Vegas Golden Knights, we'd call them one of the hottest teams in hockey. (The Detroit Red Wings, who are quickly fleeing the NHL's cellar, might also deserve a nod there.)

The Washington Capitals are also on the rise in this week's pecking order, overtaking the Boston Bruins by one spot as they look to defend the Cup:

Biggest Movers
5 Red Wings
3 Stars
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Lightning Still not sure how any team will beat them in a series. They've played some of their best hockey against the best teams. --43-21-0
2 Flames With or without Mike Smith, they've been incredible. And they really don't get enough credit. --36-27-0
3 Capitals They're pretty balanced in terms of home vs. road performance, and they've got both killer offense and experience. 141-20-0
4 Bruins No team has done more with less when factoring in their injuries. Don't take them lightly. 144-14-0
5 Golden Knights The standings don't reflect it, but they're scary. That defense should prove invaluable in the playoffs. --39-24-0
6 Penguins They're still maddeningly inconsistent, but we trust their big guns to go off in crunch time. They've at least got the pieces to make a deep run. --40-23-0
7 Islanders It's still a little hard to fathom them finishing this well, but Barry Trotz should help their defense make a push. 235-23-0
8 Maple Leafs The ceiling is so high, but we've seen this story before. Their first line is amazing, and yet who knows whether they can get sustain their scoring. 136-25-0
9 Sharks Even without Erik Karlsson, this slide has been atrocious. Momentum is a real thing. 129-36-0
10 Blues Comeback Team of the Year? Who isn't rooting for Jordan Binnington at this point? 242-19-0
11 Predators All year, we've touted their depth. But they're still just a little too consistently inconsistent. 135-26-0
12 Hurricanes They've put up a tremendous fight. They're also inferior to most of the elite teams here. 138-25-0
13 Jets Talent-wise, they should be much higher. But they've failed to leave an imprint when given easy chances. 237-28-0
14 Blue Jackets Finally, some signs of life from their remade lineup. Is it too little, too late for a big run, though? 133-22-0
15 Canadiens Every time we're ready to write them off, they remind us they can compete with the big dogs. In the playoffs, though? Probably not. 131-31-0
16 Avalanche This is what we've been waiting for! The top line is something worth watching in the postseason. 142-20-0
17 Stars Can they play spoiler in the playoffs? After big wins over Winnipeg and Philly, maybe. 337-24-0
18 Panthers How about this nice finish for Roberto Luongo? 235-26-0
19 Coyotes For a while there, it looked like they might sneak in. For that alone, they should be proud. 133-29-0
20 Canucks They are officially our Team to Watch in 2020. So many promising prospects. 436-27-0
21 Flyers Carter Hart is really all that matters from this season. 241-21-0
22 Blackhawks How quickly can they restock talent? Patrick Kane won't be around forever. 132-30-0
23 Wild An upset of the Jets is nice, but who cares at this point? They blew their shot at the playoffs long ago. 135-27-0
24 Red Wings Jeff Blashill may have earned his extension just from these last 10 games. What a stretch. 517-49-0
25 Ducks Experimenting after the deadline has paid off, at least a little bit. But their goal differential will tell you how ugly this season once was. --29-33-0
26 Oilers It's so nice to see Connor McDavid frustrated. He's about a year late on that. 337-25-0
27 Rangers Par for the course in Rebuild City. Let's see what happens this offseason. 137-28-0
28 Devils Best news of their season: They've added new blood to their analytics department. --28-29-0
29 Kings We may be in the last days of Jonathan Quick as a King. 129-35-0
30 Sabres What a disgrace. There was a time they legitimately looked like top-10 material. 330-31-0
31 Senators Their road record should be an easy bar to improve on next season: 10-27-2. --25-34-0