Michael Latta came out of nowhere (Nashville’s farm system) to bring dynamism to the bottom line this season. Latta didn’t get a lot of ice in his 17 games, but should he get another crack at the bigs this fall I think we’ll find that Latta is a legit NHL player.
By the Numbers
|7.4||Average time on ice per game|
|48.2%||Shot attempt percentage during 5v5|
|50.0%||Goal percentage during 5v5|
|9.1%||On-ice shooting percentage during 5v5|
|92.7%||On-ice saving percentage during 5v5|
Latta got just 131 minutes of ice over 17 games. That’s low even for a fourth liner. Why Oates felt he couldn’t put his fourth line out considering they often performed better than his top line we may never know. Whatever, the point is that we didn’t get a great look at Latta this season. We saw some fights, and some spark, and one net-crashy goal, but it was a tiny sample and thoroughly obscured by the Oates Effect.
Fast fact! When Latta played with Aaron Volpatti, the Caps got 46.8 percent of shot attempts. When Volpatti played without Latta, the Caps got 37.0 percent of shot attempts.
Latta didn’t stay healthy, but he did terrifically in his stints up in Hershey, racking up 14 goals and 20 assists in 52 games. Latta isn’t going to change the world in a Caps uniform, and he certainly wasn’t able to buck whatever was dragging the Caps down all season, but he seems to me like a competent bottom-six forward on a great contract. If he’s the pivot on the fourth line on opening night, I’d be pretty happy with that.
Latta on RMNB
- Fedor, last spring: “Don’t overlook Latta in the Forsberg-Erat trade.” Well, we don’t have much of a choice now, do we?
- “A pest who can play.” Well put, Ian.
- Latta’s first NHL goal, scored between Ward and Chimera. Good things happen between those guys. I wanna go out cruising for girls with them.
- Between Hershey and DC, Latta played four goals in five nights. That’s ridiculous, but this is a great interview.
- RMNB Photoshop contest on Latta’s celebration photo above.
- Latta was well-disciplined, drawing six penalties in his non-threatening minutes.
- Latta actually scored in the preseason, but Erat got the credit. Classic Erat, always taking credit for other people’s work. Glory hound.
Now, I don’t usually do this, but, let’s break ’em off a Vine from SHOE. Turn on the audio.
I’m not big on fighting, but Zac Rinaldo bled from his head so I’ll take my hypocrite lumps and share this.
This is not a picture, but I love it so it’s here.
Asked the lady at the front desk what the date was…She replied "you're obviously single". Happy Valentines Day to all you lovers out there
— Michael Latta (@Latta17) February 14, 2014
I’ll keep it simple: Do you think Michael Latta can be an NHL-level player? P.S. Michael turns 23 on Sunday, so remember to tweet him a happy b-day message.
Read more: Japers Rink