Quick Links

End of season review: Michael Latta


End of season review: Michael Latta

Throughout the coming weeks, Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2014-15 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every day in alphabetical order. Today: Michael Latta

Position: Center

Shoots: Right

Age: 24 [turns 25 May 25]

Ht/Wt: 6-0, 209

Games: 53

Goals: 0

Assists: 6

Points: 6

Penalty minutes: 68

Plus-Minus: Plus-4

Average Ice Time: 8:22

Playoff games: 4

Goals: 0

Assists: 0

Points: 0

Penalty minutes: 2

Plus-Minus: Minus-1

Average Ice Time: 6:56

Contract Status: 1 year remaining on 2-year, $1.15 million contract [2015-16 salary: $575,000; cap hit: $575,000]

Strengths: At 6-foot, 210 pounds Latta is more than willing to take on bigger opponents, especially when defending his teammates. He dropped the gloves eight times this season, including a bout with 6-foot-3 enforcer Jared Boll of the Columbus Blue Jackets. After a season of bouncing between the AHL Bears and the Caps, Latta stayed with Washington the entire season and provided plenty of energy, if not much offense, to the fourth line. His average ice time [8:22] was lowest on the team among players who spent the entire season with the Caps. In that limited time he managed to deliver 91 hits.

Room for improvement: Latta was one of only two players [Brooks Orpik was the other] who spent the entire season with the Caps without scoring a goal. It was the first time in his career that has happened for Latta, who generated just 24 shots in 53 games, an average of just 0.5 shots per game. Latta also saw just 5:36 of shorthanded ice time this season, an average of just 6 seconds a game.  Including the playoffs Latta was a healthy scratch 33 times this season. With the return of UFA centers Jay Beagle and Eric Fehr in question, Latta said he’s ready for a bigger role next season, including time on the penalty kill.  “Getting scratched in Game 7 of the first series [against the Islanders] was tough,” Latta said. “Next season I want to put myself in a position to not even be a thought to be scratched in an important game in the year.”

Memorable Moment: On March 3, in a very physical game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Latta quickly rushed to the defense of his linemate and roommate Tom Wilson when he went after Blue Jackets defenseman Justin Falk after Falk knocked Wilson’s helmet off with a big check along the boards. Latta suffered an upper body injury in the fight and missed the next six games.

Quotable: “I’ve got to work on my foot speed work on my overall game and hopefully next year I won’t be a rookie anymore and [Barry] Trotz will give me a little more trust out there, a few more minutes to prove myself. I need to be  more of  a difference-maker every night. Offensively, I had a lot of good looks and good chances but didn’t put up enough points.” – Latta on breakup day

2015-16 Expectations: If the Caps are unable to sign both Jay Beagle and Eric Fehr, look for Latta to return as the Caps’ fourth-line center, where he should be given more ice time as a penalty killer. If the Caps are able to sign both Beagle and Fehr, Latta’s role may be very similar to what it was this season. If not, he could be an energy player who averages 10-12 minutes a night. But he’ll need to produce more offense to earn that ice time.

Quick Links

3 stars of the game: A lethargic loss in Philadelphia


3 stars of the game: A lethargic loss in Philadelphia

Playing three games in four days takes a toll on even the fittest athletes, and it was their sluggish start that doomed the Capitals in a 6-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. 

After being noncomittal about his starting goalie all weekend, Coach Barry Trotz put Philipp Grubauer in net. Grubauer ended up making 29 saves on 34 shots. Offensively, the Caps got goals from Alex Ovechkin, Chandler Stephenson, and John Carlson. Carlson's third period goal cut the Flyers' lead to two with a little over three minutes to go, but a Jakub Voracek empty-netter a few moments later was the nail in the coffin. 

Here are your three stars from the game: 

1. Travis Boyd had the play of the game for the Capitals. Boyd carried the puck into the Flyer's zone, cut through multiple defenders and fired a slick shot to a streaking Ovechkin, who burried the puck in the back of the net. Check it out: 

Not only was the play nice on its own, but it was Boyd's first NHL point. Not a bad way to get it. 

2. Shayne Gostisbehere​ got the Flyers going with his goal in the first period. The defenseman had one goal on five shots along with being an intimidating force in the defensive zone. After going six weeks without scoring, today's goal was Gostisbehere's second goal in three games. 

3. Wayne Simmonds was the best offensive player on the ice on Sunday, scoring twice - both in the final period. It was the 22nd and 23rd goals of the season for the 29-year-old winger. It was also the first multi-goal game for Simmonds since Opening Night, when he had two against San Jose. 

The Caps hit the ice next on Tuesday, when they welcome the Dallas Stars to the Capital One Center. 

Quick Links

Game 72 Capitals at Flyers Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

Game 72 Capitals at Flyers Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pa.

When: 5:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Flyers will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Flyers game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.


The Capitals (41-23-7) take on the Flyers (36-25-11) Sunday, March 18 at 5:00 p.m. ET in Philadelphia.


The Capitals-Flyers game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

4:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
4:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
5:00 p.m. — Capitals at Flyers
7:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
8:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
9:00 p.m. — Caps in 30


The Capitals-Flyers game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.


Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.