September 18, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Marian Gaborik (10) skates against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Center. The Blue Jackets defeated the Hurricanes 5-4. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Who Makes Up The Columbus Blue Jackets Number One Line?

Yesterday I focused on the defense, taking a look at Dalton Prout’s Return and what it may mean for the Columbus blue liners. Then I also put it to a vote to see who you thought would be The Starting Six On The Columbus Blue Jackets Blue Line? I thought today I could focus a little more on the offense.

During the preseason several different line combinations have been used, some were mediocre, some failed, and some succeeded, like the Boone Jenner, Brandon Dubinsky, and Marian Gaborik line, which seemed to be on fire against Carolina. I am sure line combinations will be changed up during the season, and even during games. What I am really wondering though, who is going to be on the number one line on October 4th, opening night at Nationwide Arena?

Players have been making their case during training camp/preseason to be listed as the top three forwards who will be counted on to lead the offense. Until proven otherwise, I think one player is an automatic for the number one line, and that is Marian Gaborik. The real question is, who will be the center for the dynamic winger?

Sep 21, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta (3) and Columbus Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky (17) battle to control the puck during the first period at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Do you put the hard working, forechecking machine Brandon Dubinsky as the center? Or the Russian sniper Artem Anisimov as the center? Or do you go off the grid and choose a young gun like Ryan Johansen or Boone Jenner? Can you imagine being the coach right now?

After you make the center decision, you still have to choose another winger. Nick Foligno, Cam Atkinson, and R.J. Umberger are all listed as left wingers on the Blue Jackets depth chart. Not to mention, Boone Jenner can play left wing as well, which is what he played when on the line with Dubinsky and Gaborik. The list seems to go on and on.

Lets do a little math. If you take the top nine forwards and try to make one line combination, there are a total of 504 different options. Even if you took the top six forwards, you would still have 120 different line combinations for the first line. Not that you probably didn’t know before, but now you really know how hard it can be to come up with the perfect number one line. Now you have a chance though…

Who Makes Up The Columbus Blue Jackets Number One Line? (Select Three, Obviously)

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