Morning Reading List
Brent Johnson hopes to not miss any playing time after injuring his hip against Carolina on Wednesday, but he will most likely back up Jose Theodore tonight at Verizon Center against New Jersey. Theodore hasn't started since the Caps 5-0 loss to Buffalo on Nov. 1, but now has a prime opportunity to show he can be the team's hot-hand and No. 1 goaltender.
Read more about the two goaltenders along with how Shaone Morrisonn and Sergei Fedorov are faring in today's notebook.
*Alex Ovechkin had a conference call with reporters across the league yesterday, and while he discussed the chemistry between himself, Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom many reporters were still focused on Semin's comments about Sidney Crosby, which Ovechkin insisted were lost in translation.
*Colleague Dan Steinberg over at the Bog has pictures of Johnson's new mask, which is covered in D.C. monuments and landmarks (Theodore's mask is still in the works). He also has a tribute to Tom Poti's set of black eyes.
*Defenseman Paul Martin skated in practice yesterday for the first time since Nov. 2 and has missed five games with a back problem. Martin said he hoped to play against the Capitals tonight.
*Devils leading scorer Zach Parise, however did miss practice but was just taking time off to nurse a bruised left heel. He is expected to play against the Capitals.
*After dropping four of their last five games, the Devils are in a predicament that seems to come often for Caps opponents -- desperate and seeking a win any way they can find one. Washington, conversely, has won four straight heading into this weekend's home-and-home.
And on to a question of D.C.'s fanhood:
*ESPN's Bill Simmons shared what he thought of D.C. sports fans in yesterday's Sports Guy's mailbag, search D.C. or Capitals when you go to the link. Or you can read Steinberg's take on the Bog.
In the system:
*As many of you noticed yesterday, Simeon Varlamov will start for Hershey tonight against Philadelphia as the Bears look to break out of their slump.
*While they must face the Phantoms first on Friday and Saturday, the Bears hope to have a strong stand on Sunday against Binghamton. Hershey is 1-2-0-1 in Sunday games this season.
*The London Knights and Barrie Colts are set to face each other tonight at 7:30 p.m. in a game that will feature two Caps prospects, newly-signed defenseman John Carlson and London against left wing Stefan Della Rovere and the Colts.
*In case you wondered what the ramifications of Michael Neuvirth's return to North America would be, South Carolina (ECHL) traded goaltender Josh Johnson to Gwinnett this week while holding on to Neuvirth and Bobby Goepfert.
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