Photo credit: Alex Brandon
An hour before the Washington Capitals took on the Philadelphia Flyers, general manager George McPhee made a flurry of roster moves. John Erskine was moved off injured reserve and back on to the active roster, rookie defenseman Nate Schmidt was sent down to the Hershey Bears, and Michael Latta was recalled.
With Mikhail Grabovski out with the flu, Latta centered the Caps’ fourth line. He did so despite suiting up the night before in Hershey. Sunday was Latta’s fourth game in five days.
“I got called at 10 o’clock this morning,” Latta told CSN’s Al Koken. “I got on my horse, got in the car, got my gear at the rink, and headed up here.”
When asked if he was tired from playing the night before, Latta smiled and responded,”You always got a little adrenaline when you get called up here. So it’s okay definitely.”
For a normal person, no, this would not be okay. Especially if you went through what Latta did just 17 hours earlier.
On Saturday night in Hershey, the Caps rookie earned 22 penalty minutes (tripping minor, elbow major, fighting major, and misconduct) — including a
viscous vicious throw-down with Darren Kramer.
In the second period of Sunday’s game against the Flyers, Latta fought Zac Rinaldo, who I still don’t understand why he’s even in the NHL.
Latta made him bleed his head-blood.
Rinaldo bleeding from the right side of his nose.
— Dave Isaac (@davegisaac) December 15, 2013
Rinaldo pondered the existence of life in the penalty box.
Unfortunately, Latta suffered a lower-body injury in the third period and did not return to action for the Caps’ comeback win.
Despite a couple demotions to Hershey due to salary cap limitations, Latta has kept a good attitude and figuratively gone with the punches. Good on him.