Martin Erat’s Goal Was Actually Michael Latta’s

Michael Latta celebrates a goal. (Photo credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The Washington Capitals brought their B-team players to Boston on Monday, but the Boston Bruins brought in their B-team scorekeepers. According to them, the Bruins led shots 38-14. Okay, maybe. But also according to them, the Caps’ third-period goal was scored by Martin Erat and assisted by Nate Schmidt and Mikhail Grabovski.

No. It was Michael Latta‘s. Really. Let’s take a look.

As Latta skates across the high slot, he deflects Schmidt’s pass on net. The puck squeaks through traffic in front and sits just beyond the goal line of the left post. There’s no evidence that Martin Erat even touches the puck while he hacks at it. And even if he did, it most likely happened after the puck crossed the goal line. The goal should have been Latta’s, and Schmidt and Grabovski should have been credited with assists. Latta didn’t even get credited with an assist on the goal, despite clearly touching the puck.

With Latta surviving another round of cuts this morning, every play matters– especially a goal against the Eastern Conference champion. The good news is that John Walton seemed to get the call right on the radio, and video coach Brett Leonhardt is certainly on the ball. It’s just unfortunate the Bruins scorekeepers couldn’t do their jobs correctly when Latta did his.

  • Owen Johnson

    Well it was one of the Not Filip Forsbergs.

  • VeggieTart

    He knew it was his goal, given how he celebrated. And I thought so as well.

  • Michael Reschly

    So if goals are a poor way to measure a player performance during the season, due to their infrequency, the impact of luck, player utilization, and so on… why the focus on goals for preseason players. Tom Wilson having 2 goals in 4 games is certainly better than 0 in 4, but we can’t expect that trend to continue, right?

  • you ain’t wrong

  • Michael Reschly

    Then can you explain why neither RMNB nor Japers’ have put together a Corsi argument for/against Wilson or anyone else (unless you have and I just missed it). Is there a reason for that? Is the sample size too small? The fact neither team puts there regular lineup out there skews things too much?

  • Vogs

    Thanks for this, fellas. I Tweeted that Latta had scored when I witnessed it, then issued a heartfelt mea culpa upon hearing the announcement. Play was down at far end from where I was, so I wondered if maybe I was seeing things and maybe it was time to retire. Glad to know I saw what I thought I saw.

    Worth noting that this is the second goal for the Caps this preseason that didn’t get credited properly; Jack Hillen got tabbed as Washington’s first goal-scorer of the preseason on a tally that should have gone to Nathan Walker.

  • Yeah, that’s pretty much the idea. More:

    1) I don’t think there is on-ice/off-ice shot attempt data available on the OHL level. If there is, I don’t have access/haven’t seen it. 2) Even if we did have that data, I’m not sure that shot attempts would be equally as meaningful on the junior level as it on the NHL. 3) Wilson has not played enough at the NHL level to form anything near a reliable sample. 4) I don’t trust preseason stats. Not all games are played on NHL ice or against NHL-level players (and the parity upon which trust in possession stats are based), and the statkeepers are suspect– as evidenced by this post.