The defense rests.

Yeah, sure, maybe in the courtroom, but not on the Columbus Blue Jackets back line. Not even close, especially since the roster was depleted with injuries to two of the team's top-six defensemen. Fedor Tyutin missed the first eight games after the Olympic break before returning for the game in Minnesota, and Ryan Murray has been out since injuring his knee in Toronto March 3.

As far as playing a steady, shutdown kind of game, those two D-men had been as good as the Blue Jackets had on the blue line. So, how has the team gone 6-2-1 since the NHL resumed play after Sochi? You know that old hockey adage about injuries presenting opportunities for other players? Apparently it's not just a cliche - in this case, it's turned out to be very true.

Everyone on the blue line has stepped up. Actually, Dalton Prout stepped back in, from Springfield, and is playing at a level much like his impressive rookie season last year. Veterans Jack Johnson, James Wisnewski, and Nikita Nikitin (who missed a game after being injured in Chicago) have eaten big minutes in critical situations. And Nick Schultz has added needed steadiness and depth after coming over from Edmonton at the trade deadline.