2012 first round pick Griffin Reinhart and his Edmonton Oil Kings are once again playing in their third straight WHL championship with game 1 starting tonight at 7:00pm against their rival the Portland Winterhawks. This is the third year in a row that both teams will be facing off against each other for the Championship, There is s hockey coincidence between the same two clubs. The last and only time that happened was from 1969 to 1971 when a previous incarnation of the Edmonton Oil Kings went up against the Flin Flon Bombers. That Oil Kings franchise left Edmonton and became the Portland Winter Hawks in 1976. It would be similar to the Phoenix Coyotes and Winnipeg Jets playing in the Stanley Cup Finals and it would the first time for both the original and new team.
The Oil Kings won the first meeting two years ago, a seven game series to win the Ed Chynoweth Trophy while Portland won the title last year in 6 games. Reinhart did not play last year due to an injury and he is considered a series changer in this years contest.
Both teams are stacked with players who are already drafted by NHL teams. The talent level does not get any better in this series, and many have told me that this series will be a great indicator as to how far Reinhart has progressed as a player. Many believe that the Oil Kings defense can hold off Portland’s offensive attack, especially with Reinhart as their leader.
As of this writing the edge goes to Portland for the WHL Championship, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a long series. Many are expecting this to go the distance in the rubber match everyone in Junior hockey has been waiting for.
Sat, May 3, 2014 7:00 pm PDT Edmonton at Portland
Sun, May 4, 2014 5:00 pm PDT Edmonton at Portland
Tue, May 6, 2014 7:00 pm MDT Portland at Edmonton
Wed, May 7, 2014 7:00 pm MDT Portland at Edmonton
Fri, May 9, 2014 7:00 pm PDT Edmonton at Portland
Sun, May 11, 2014 4:00 pm MDT Portland at Edmonton
Mon, May 12, 2014 7:00 pm PDT Edmonton at Portland
Top defensemen: small edge to Portland. Oil Kings Griffin Reinhart and Cody Corbett can almost match Derrick Pouliot and Matt Dumba, especially if Reinhart continues to elevate his scoring for the playoffs. Still, Pouliot was named best defenseman in the league and Dumba was close to him.