Jeff Reese certainly enjoys his summer months.
“I took a trip to Canada early on and I just got back from Florida where we went to Naples to visit some friends. We did some fishing and I had a real good time. I caught a stingray which was exciting.”
But for the Flyers goaltending coach, summer is over.
Entering what will be his third full year with the organization, Reese is back at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone working out and going over film in preparation for the 2011-12 season.
“I’m ready to get back at it. We’ve been off the ice for too long. The year before when we had a run all the way to the Final, it seemed like the summer flew by, but this one has been too long, so it will be nice to get back at it.”
|Jeff Reese was a member of the Lightning in 1995-96 as a player and 2001-08 as a coach. |
Reese is going over film of his new goaltenders, Ilya Bryzgalov
and Jason Bacashihua.
“He was a pretty high pick to the Dallas Stars years ago,” said Reese of Bacashihua. “He’s a smaller guy, but he’s a veteran who can come up here at this level and win some games. He’s another depth-guy that we’re excited to have.”
Any goaltender currently working out needs to ask the coaching staff to assist any on-ice workouts, as is the case with Michael Leighton.
“I just got off the ice with Michael Leighton. He’s putting in some work and has been here all summer working hard and trying to rehab and now he’s back on the ice skating.”
Getting back to the Flyers new No. 1 netminder in Bryzgalov.
Reese admits to only spending an hour or so face-to-face, but was very impressed at what he saw.
“We certainly hit it off. He’s got a sense of humor but what I noticed about him is that he’s very intelligent. When we really got down to it and talking about the game itself he reminds me of [Nikolai] Khabibulin as far as intelligence goes.”
Reese is no stranger to working with Russian goaltenders having helped rookie Sergei Bobrovsky
to an impressive rookie year last season and prior to joining the Flyers, he guided another 31-year-old to a pretty successful season with the Lightning.
“I was fortunate enough to win a Stanley Cup in Tampa Bay with a Russian goalie in Nikolai Khabibulin, so it would be nice to do it again… and with two of them in net.”
Bryzgalov comes to the Flyers already with an impressive resume, and like Khabibulin in ’04, he too is 31 years of age.
“He’s going to say what he feels and I think that’s refreshing,” said Reese. “He’s going to be very successful here. I believe that. I don’t think he’s going to let things bother him. He’s going to be able to put things aside and just go out and play.”
And what about Bob?
Reese has talked to Bobrovsky and thinks the new Flyers goaltending tandem will be good to have.
“I talked to Bob and his English has gotten a lot better. He’s taking some good time off which he needed. Last year he came here in July for [Prospect Camp], then he had Rookie Camp, then he had Training Camp, then he ended up being our goalie, so he played a lot of hockey.
“Last year was a little tougher with the language gap, but obviously he got a lot better towards the end of the year and Bryz speaks fluent English, so he can actually help me with Bob now, so there there’s no miscommunication which is a good thing.”
However the goaltending tandem turns out throughout the 2011-12 season, Reese notes that as the year progresses, Flyers fans will certainly get to know the new #30 between the pipes and see very quickly what he saw in him from just an hour’s worth of conversation in the summer.
“He’s a very dedicated guy. He’s coming in here and he knows what he’s getting into. He’s coming here with full intentions of winning the Stanley Cup. That’s his goal and that’s exciting for the Philadelphia Flyers.”