Oilers defenceman Griffin Reinhart has to be feeling pretty good about his last two games. After logging a team-high six hits and receiving praise for a physical and assertive performance against the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday, Reinhart perhaps topped that with his night Friday.
Reinhart played a career-high 23:37 and blocked a game-high eight shots on his way to being named the game’s third star in a 2-0 win over Vancouver.
“For a segment of games, this is probably the best Griffin has been all year,” said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. “We’ve talked about some of the factors or the reasons why. He’s played well.”
Reinhart has felt more comfortable in the lineup now that he’s playing regularly, and his familiarity with his defensive partner, Jordan Oesterle, has helped him settle in.
“I thought it went well,” Reinhart said of his game against the Canucks. “I thought I was playing physical. I actually didn’t know about eight blocked shots, so that’s a good thing. That’s a bonus.”
Reinhart is pleased to be getting more minutes, saying that helps him perform better as well.
“It’s easy to get in a groove,” he said. “You’ve got to get up every second or third shift and it’s easy to play. Sometimes it’s hard when you’re in penalty trouble or on the power play and you don’t get in that regular shift, so it’s something I can build off of.”
Reinhart is feeling much better as of late and his confidence is building with each performance.
“I always knew I could play like this, but it’s sometimes tough. I think the biggest part of it is knowing I’m playing every night right now. I think that’s what helps. You get into that routine and you do the same things every day and you build off of that rather than checking the board every morning to see if you’re in the lineup and breaking it up a bit.”
Reinhart agrees with the statement that this may be the most confident and comfortable he’s felt in his short career as an Oiler.