Sabres' Josefson looks forward to playing in his old building

December 29, 2017

Newark, NJ (WGR 550) - Jacob Josefson was a first round pick of the Devils in 2009, but things never worked out as New Jersey had hoped. Josefson played 276 games with the Devils, but never scored more than six goals or 14 points in a season.

The 26-year-old was one of Jason Botterill’s free agent signings and he knew it was time to part ways with the Devils, “I was here for a long time and I think it was good that we went our separate ways, but I really like it here in Buffalo too, it’s a great group of guys and I think we’re on our way to the right path here.”

Despite the Sabres being the second worst team in the NHL, Josefson is encourage, “Yes, I feel like we have something exciting going on here in Buffalo, but we just have to start winning some games here and it’ll be even more fun.”

Josefson is back in Jersey for the first time and it was weird for him walking in the door for the first time. Josefson has faced his old teammates once in Buffalo, but this is his first time doing it in Newark. The center said, “I think it was good to have that first one out of the way playing in Buffalo. I have a lot of friends on the other team, obviously they won’t be friends tonight, but it’s probably going to be a special feeling to be on this ice in a different jersey.”

Josefson did spend a lot of time here and of course there are some highlight moments, “I think the year we went to the finals. That was a great year and it was a really fun run to be a part of.

“I think back to that time a lot and it’s something I will carry with me through my whole life.”

Josefson has been playing well after coming back from his first ankle injury. It was his line with Johan Larsson and Jordan Nolan that got the Sabres going in Brooklyn.

The Devils are just another team that gives the Sabres fits. Buffalo is 1-7-2 in its last 10 games vs New Jersey, but are 3-4-3 in their last 10 here.

The Sabres just are not a talented team when it comes to scoring goals. They fired 37 shots at the league’s worst defensive team, but could only score two goals.

Buffalo had a 2-1 lead, but got scored on with just 1:09 left in regulation and then 1:08 into overtime to lose the game. It’s very rare the Sabres find ways to win, but they almost always find ways to lose.

In this case it was a rookie in Mathew Barzal who came down and faked the Sabres number one defenseman, Rasmus Ristolainen right out of his skates to score the game winner.

Jack Eichel has points in 4-out-of-5 games picking up five goals and four assists for nine points.

Zemgus Girgensons only has three goals, but he has goals in two straight games playing left wing on Eichel’s line.

Jason Pominville doesn’t have a point in eight games and he only has assists in 1-of-22 games.

Benoit Pouliot has just one point in nine games.

Robin Lehner has only given up 10 goals in his last five starts. He’s 8-14-5 with a 2.74 goals against and .915 save percentage.

At the other end, Cory Schneider is 17-6-4 with a 2.49 goals against and .923 save percentage. Schneider has played in seven straight games.

The Devils have a six game home winning streak and have picked up points in seven.

New Jersey is third overall in the NHL with a point percentage of .680. Vegas is second while Tampa Bay is number one.

This isn’t the same old boring Devils that Lou Lamoriello insisted on from every coach he hired. This New Jersey team is 7th in goal scoring averaging 3.14 goals per game. That’s tied with the Sabres next opponent, the New York Rangers.

The Devils are a team that gives up a lot of shots, but the Sabres usually don’t capitalize when they get shots.

Taylor Hall leads this group with 12 goals and 24 assists for 36 points in 34 games. Brian Gibbons also has 12 goals and Brian Boyle has 10 in 26 games.

Hall has three goals and four assists for seven points in his last five games.

Boyle has six goals and four assists for 10 points in nine games.

Join the Bulldog at 6:00 for the pregame when he’ll be joined by Phil Housley, Jacob Josefson and Jordan Nolan.