The St. Louis Blues are among the top teams in the Western Conference even without an entire line for an extended stretch and with an All-Star goalie benched indefinitely.
Vladimir Tarasenko was among the top rookies early but has missed 10 games with a concussion. Two-way standout Alex Steen returned from a shoulder injury with a goal and two assists Thursday, but speedy Andy McDonald remains out.
It's anybody's guess when Brian Elliott, part of a goalie tandem that led the NHL with 15 shutouts last season, will get another chance given he's saddled with a 3-6-1 record and a 3.65 goals-against average.
Somehow, the bottom has not fallen out behind rookie goalie Jake Allen.