Griffin Reinhart was feeling the love on Twitter on Tuesday night. And by ‘love,’ I don’t mean unrelenting support and encouragement from adoring Oil Kings fans temporarily heartbroken following the club’s 4-3 double overtime loss to the Val-d’Or Foreurs at the 2014 MasterCard Memorial Cup Tournament. There was some support sprinkled in among the plentiful abuse directed at the 20-year-old wheelhorse defenceman who was victimized, along with his teammates, by a cluster of bad bounces that teammate Mitch Moroz termed “cruel.” Perhaps the cruellest was the game-winner by Val-d’Or’s Anthony Richard, who sped away on a breakaway after Henrik Samuelsson’s hard pass back to Reinhart hopped over the defenceman’s stick at the last second, leaving the 6-foot-4, 202-pound defenceman chasing the speedy opposing forward. “On some of these goals, everything that could have gone wrong has, so far,” Moroz said. “Hopefully, we got all those gross ones out of the way early, and now, we’re going to have some luck.” Moroz took note of the gross comments directed at Reinhart and fired off a Tweet of his own, one that included a link to a clip from Happy Gilmore in which a character played by Joe Flaherty tells Gilmore, played by Adam Sandler: “You suck, ya jackass!” Just being a good teammate. “I just wanted to lighten the mood up, I guess,” Moroz said. “He’s probably got a lot of pressure on him. “Everybody thinks they’re an expert behind the screen and the keyboard. You’ve got to keep it light and give the kid a break, a little bit.” Look, Reinhart is Edmonton’s best player, a calm, multi-faceted shutdown defenceman who plays nearly 30 minutes a game, every game. Well, every game except the double overtime thriller, in which he may well have logged closer to 40 minutes of ice time. The Oil Kings would not have won the WHL championship without Reinhart, and their Memorial Cup hopes rest heavily on his shoulders, along with those of Curtis Lazar, Henrik Samuelsson, goalie Tristan Jarry, and Moroz, who is acutely aware of Reinhart’s value to the cause. “He’s the backbone of our back end, and he’s a tower of, just, poise and strength back there that give us a lot of confidence,” Moroz said. “We know in crunch time, he just bears down and makes plays under pressure. “He’s got that calm demeanour, Chris Pronger-like. He’s just a gamer.” If the gamer was even the slightest rattled by the undeserved cheapshots directed his way on Twitter, Reinhart certainly didn’t show it on Wednesday.
Edmonton Oil Kings captain truly ‘a gamer’
Edmonton Journal | May 22