The media flock grazing on Kevin Bieksa's every word Tuesday was immense. A couple of stalls over in the Vancouver Canucks' locker room, wry chatterbox Keith Ballard muttered: "I didn't know he was still on the team."

It's hard to notice that Bieksa hasn't played in a month — and won't play Wednesday against the Colorado Avalanche (7 p.m., Sportsnet, Team 1040) — due to a broken foot. Likewise with Alex Edler. Remember him? Apparently, Edler is still on the Canucks, too, although he has been out nearly two months since back surgery.

Edler is the Canucks' best defencemen. By most measures, Bieksa is No. 2.

Picture the Detroit Red Wings without Nicklas Lidstrom and Niklas Kronwall on their defence, or the Philadelphia Flyers minus Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timonen.

The long-term losses of Bieksa and Edler should have caused the Canucks to stop, drop and roll into full-scale survival mode in which they would throttle back and tediously manage games while marking on a calendar the days until their best defencemen returned.

But hardly anyone has noticed their absence.

"I'm reassured daily that I'm missed in the room," Bieksa smiled. "That helps me out. It's nice to see the team playing well going into the playoffs. We're pretty comfortable in the standings right now and there's a relaxed feeling around here and everyone is fresh and not burned out from the stretch run. I'm pretty happy about that. I'll gladly sit on the sidelines if we keep on winning every game."

They've won every one of the last six, boosting their record to 9-4 without Bieksa and 16-6 absent Edler.