Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues' Reinke Gets a Taste of NHL Action

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues' Reinke Gets a Taste of NHL Action

Article excerpt

Mitch Reinke had his Nick Papagiorgio moment Thursday night, only it wasn't in the "Vegas Vacation" movie, it was the National Hockey League.

Amid the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas, he arrived in style with the team Thursday at the five-star Mandarin Oriental hotel. Not exactly the kind of accommodations he was used to at Michigan Tech.

"Yeah," Reinke said, chuckling. "I'm rooming with Nolan Stevens. We both kind of walked in, and that's probably the nicest hotel I've stayed at. For it to be in Vegas, and the views, and just everything about this experience so far has been awesome."

But wait, it gets better. Just six days after he and Stevens were signed to entry-level contracts out of college, Reinke played in his first NHL game Saturday against Arizona.

"It's been surreal," Reinke said. "It all happened really fast. I'm really thankful for the opportunity. We definitely would've liked a better outcome but you know it's still a dream come true for me. Hopefully I can get in the lineup again and hopefully experience a win with these guys."

Reinke, a defenseman, wasn't all that noticeable against the Arizona Coyotes, and that's probably a good thing considering the circumstances. The Blues suffered their most lopsided loss of the season, 6-0, so there were a lot of bad moments for the visiting team.

"Actually pretty impressed with him," coach Mike Yeo said. "It was a tough environment to come into. Tough game for him to play in. But you like his footwork, you like his skating ability. His gaps were good. Lot of poise. Skates with his head up and makes plays. I thought it was a pretty good game for him."

Reinke's NHL debut consisted of 13 minutes, 2 seconds of ice time -- more ice time than Robert Bortuzzo. He had one shot on goal, one shot blocked, and one that missed the net. His stat line also included two Arizona shots that he blocked. …

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