The Columbus Blue Jackets only have two preseason games remaining before their season opener at Nationwide Arena against the Toronto Maple Leafs a week from today.
Despite Artemi Panarin and Matt Duchene playing for different teams now, team captain Nick Foligno doesn't seem concerned.
"I'm not really worried about where goals are gonna come from. I look around the room and there's plenty of candidates to score goals," Foligno said while speaking to the media on Thursday. "I think it's gonna be exciting that it's gonna be more by committee. Every line can probably score."
Their lines may look as follows:— 1st Ohio Battery (@1stOhioBattery) September 26, 2019
Above is a look at what the offensive lines could look like tonight as Columbus hosts New Jersey Devils in their penultimate game of the preseason.
When looking at the four lines, there's a solid case - at least for the top three lines - to get extended playing time in key games during the season.
There's an easy case for the top line, with Cam Atkinson coming off a 41-goal season and Pierre-Luc Dubois not only scoring 61 points (27 goals and 31 assists) this past season, but also averaging close to 18 minutes of ice time per game in the postseason. Texier is inexperienced compared to the first two players, but the coaches believe he's ready to be thrust into a major role.
The second line features newcomer Gustav Nyquist, who's coming off a career-high 60-point campaign and has shown consistency - with at least 40 points the previous six seasons. Alexander Wennberg is was once proclaimed to be the No.1 center of the future for the Jackets prior to sputtering offensively the past two years. Then there's Oliver Bjorkstrand, who showed he's at least capable of being a reliable scorer, netting 20 goals in his final 47 appearances this past season.
The third line is the most familiar with one another. Nick Foligno, Boone Jenner and Josh Anderson are all reliable on the defensive end and each player possesses a physical element to their game. Both Foligno and Jenner have scored 30 goals earlier in their respective careers, but it's Josh Anderson, who's coming off a career year with 27 goals who's most likely to get reach the 30 this coming season.
There's no question that this Blue Jackets roster at least has plenty of potential on the offensive side of the puck.
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