With the All-Star Break in the books, it's time to hone in on the second half of the 2018-19 NHL season.

The biggest observation heading into February has to be the continued dominance of the Tampa Bay Lightning, whose numbers look even more impressive now that we've had a week-long breather. Take away the Calgary Flames, who have already exceeded expectations behind Bill Peters and a red-hot Johnny Gaudreau, and Tampa is an astounding 11 standings points ahead of the next-best team in the NHL. Throw in their goal differential and basically every other important stat, and it all seems even more bonkers. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this team is simply the best, and it'll be a major upset if they aren't in the Stanley Cup Final come summertime.

Behind the Lightning, there are still plenty of teams worth watching, and the San Jose Sharks have to be among them. On the rise in this week's rankings, their 7-6 dismantling of the reigning champion Washington Capitals before the break still rings loud and clear, and while it may have confirmed the Caps are victims of a very rough stretch of schedule, it more so confirms the Sharks are locked and loaded for a second-half run.

Watch regional NHL games and prime-time nationally televised games all season long through fuboTV (Try for free).

Joining the Sharks on the rise in this week's pecking order are the Arizona Coyotes and Boston Bruins, among others:

Biggest Movers
4 Coyotes
3 Kings
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Lightning They've been No. 1 almost all season, yet we still probably don't talk about them enough. This team is a machine. --14-4-0
2 Flames They're going to be fun in the playoffs. And who's stopping Johnny Gaudreau these days? --10-11-0
3 Jets How about the goaltending depth here? We like to talk about their scoring, but that might be the X-factor for a postseason run. --13-7-0
4 Sharks Fresh off the All-Star festivities, they're really pulling off their preseason All-Star reputation. It seems like they're primed to be firing on all cylinders come playoff time. 38-9-0
5 Predators With Austin Watson out indefinitely, maybe there's an even better chance they go fishing at the deadline. Keeping pace is key for playoff positioning. --10-11-0
6 Islanders Who would've guessed that they'd be markedly better *without* John Tavares? Not us! 211-6-0
7 Maple Leafs Turns out they're still lethal on offense. The slump wasn't pretty, but as long as Auston Matthews is in town, they're going to be a threat. 117-4-0
8 Golden Knights Time and time again, we will repeat it: They can't *just* win in Vegas. That won't fly in the playoffs. 213-4-0
9 Bruins Rangers slip-up aside, they're back in full force. And it's a big testament to David Pastrnak and co. that Boston was able to weather its injuries for so long. 112-5-0
10 Penguins Congrats to them on literally reversing a trade they made from a season ago. Maybe they have another up their sleeve to kick this season into hyper-drive. 111-8-0
11 Canadiens They're still not too convincing against top-tier teams, but they also refuse to die. 29-6-0
12 Blue Jackets Between Sergei Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin, they've got a decent amount of drama to go along with their slow start to the week. 18-10-0
13 Wild They can thank the Avalanche for falling like an avalanche. All of a sudden they have a relatively straightforward path to the playoffs. 112-6-0
14 Capitals Have they had a rough schedule? Yes. But you can't just fully excuse a 3-5-2 stretch, either. Time to straighten up. 212-5-0
15 Hurricanes Their turnaround has been pretty swift. Now let's see if their front office is serious about ending that playoff drought. 114-6-0
16 Stars It's times like these (win vs. Jets) when you wonder just how good they could be. And it's also fair to start wondering how well this team has been assembled. 16-6-0
17 Avalanche Nathan MacKinnon's foot injury might be the nail in the coffin. What a shame. --11-7-0
18 Sabres The All-Star recognition shows their prospects are making progress. It's still disappointing to see how they've wasted a solid start. --6-10-0
19 Coyotes We're not convinced they'll stay in the top 20, but a 6-2-2 stretch will get you recognized. 49-9-0
20 Canucks At the very least, as we've said before, they have reason to look forward to 2019-20. The core is admirable. 19-14-0
21 Rangers These last few weeks have been fun, but how are we to evaluate this whole season? This team publicly announced its rebuild, remember? 17-9-0
22 Blues The way they've been steadying themselves lately, they almost belong higher on this list. Another good week should send them up. 112-8-0
23 Panthers The fact that they've won three straight and just dominated San Jose yet remain eight games under .500 speaks to how damaging their slump really was. 113-4-0
24 Oilers Maybe if the general manager swap came sooner, Connor McDavid might be playing with a playoff-caliber roster at this point. 214-10-0
25 Flyers Does anyone in Philly care they've won four straight? Maybe not until next season. --11-4-0
26 Devils They have won only six of 20 road games this season. That'll ruin a season. 17-8-0
27 Red Wings The Oilers might want to thank them for accelerating the changes up top. 17-14-0
28 Ducks They have the most deceiving spot in the standings of all NHL teams. 16-11-0
29 Kings Good for them to put up a fight despite that awful start, but the season has been a ticking time bomb for a while now. Let's get on with the roster shuffle. 39-7-0
30 Blackhawks Anyone predict a minus-34 goal differential for them entering the season? 112-7-0
31 Senators Poor Mark Stone and Matt Duchene, we guess. 18-15-0