Marcus Johansson was in Sweden sleeping when he was traded to the New Jersey Devils during the offseason.
The deal was a huge shock to both Johansson and Capitals fans. While he wasn’t prepared for the trade, Johansson, months later, has finally settled into his new role with New Jersey and is looking forward to his first regular season game back in DC on Saturday.
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) December 30, 2017
After taking questions on the Devils 4-3 overtime loss to the Sabres, Johansson discussed what he think it would be like to return to Capital One Arena for the first time in the regular season since leaving the Capitals.
“It’s going to be fun,” Johanssan said. “It’s going to be a little bit different, but it’s going to be a big game for us. Right now we are in a tight race with them (in the Metropolitan Division standings) so its going to be two big points. Just gotta go out and keep playing hard and keep playing the way we have for the most part and I think we give ourselves a good chance.
“I played in the preseason (against Washington) but it’s not the same as playing a real game,” Johansson said. “You can’t compare it so it’s going to be fun. There’s going to be a lot of emotions involved. It’s going to feel a bit weird at first, but a lot of fun.”
Beyond the first-place-in-the-west Vegas Golden Knights, the New Jersey Devils are the biggest surprise of the league this year. The Devils responded from a last place finish in the east last season to leading the Metro 37 games into the season. The Devils (50) have a one-point lead over the Capitals (49) with two games in hand.
While Johansson has nearly missed nearly half the season due to a myriad of injuries, the Swedish forward has continued to have a big role on the team when he’s been healthy, skating on the team’s first line.
Johansson, who scored his fifth goal of the season Friday against Buffalo, has eight points in his first 19 games.
— NHL (@NHL) December 30, 2017