37 FOR 37: LUCKY NUMBER 13
Flames' offensive explosion in 13-1 demolition of San Jose Sharks back in 1993 set records that still stand todayby GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / calgaryflames.com
The assault was unprecedented on a number of fronts.
"It was a fun night,'' Jeff Reese is reflecting. "I wish they were all like that."
February 19, 1993 at the Saddledome, the Flames established franchise records for:
*Most goals in one game (13, in a 13-1 annihilation of the San Jose Sharks)
*Fastest three goals (31 seconds)
*Fasted four goals (81 seconds)
*Most unanswered goals (13)
*Most decisive victory (12 goals)
Winger Theo Fleury (1G, 5A) and centre Robert Reichel (3G, 3A) gorged themselves on six points apiece. Defenceman Gary Suter chipped in with five (2G, 3A).
Fleury finished +9, Reichel +7 and Suter +6.
Right-winger Ron Stern also tacked on three goals as a nice counterbalance to Reichel's hat-trick.
A beleaguered Arturs Irbe lasted 36:37 in the San Jose net, singed for seven goals on 21 shots. Mop-up man Jeff Hackett didn't fare any better, surrendering six on 15 pellets.
Most amazing on a night full of crazyiness, though, were the three assists Reese collected that while outfitted in pads and a mask, an NHL record that stands to this day.
"It's not very often that a goaltender has a great night offensive and defensively,'' noted Flames' boss Dave King, post-carnage.
"He played well both ways."
Over two decades have passed.
"You know what?'' says Reese, now goaltending coach for the Dallas Stars. "I don't really remember the assists. What I do remember is that I played half decent.
"I actually had to make a few saves. Twenty-six of 27, if I remember correctly.
"I also remember that down at the other end was my buddy Jeff Hackett, who I skated with in the summers. Felt bad for him. I think they went back and forth, back and forth (changing goalies).
"It's funny but one time, much later, when we were both goalie coaches, I happened to get on an elevator with Arturs Irbe. And he kinda smiles, shakes a finger at me and goes: "I remember you. I remember that night.'
"But he was laughing. A good guy."
While statisticians were sifting through the offensive numbers, Reese's unprecedented output initially got lost in the shuffle.
"After the game, nobody really knew I'd set a record,'' he recalls. "You just figured Fuhrsie (Grant Fuhr) or somebody like that would have it.
"I do remember teasing Smitty (defenceman Greg Smyth) because that night I passed him in scoring for the year.
"To still be in the record books after all this time … pretty cool.
"I'm also part of another league record, you know. Isn't the 10-player dea (the mega-blockbuster that shipped Doug Gilmour from the Flames east to Toronto for, among others, Reese) still the record for most players involved in one trade? I think it is."
"I'm just not as proud of that as I am of the other one."
Not that the current holder expects to hold the record for much longer.
"I figure some goalie will get there, soon, especially with a 3-on-3 overtime.
"At least tied, maybe broken.
"But it's fun to be a little part of history, at least for the time being."
A checkmark in the win column and three helpers. The only thing missing from a twine-tender's equivalent of a Gordie Howe hat-trick was scoring an actual goal.
"That,'' laughs Reese, "would've been great.
"Somehow, though, I don't think (the Sharks) were going to be pulling the goalie at 13-1."