“He played for me when I was coaching in Hartford,” general manager Paul Holmgren said. “He always had a tremendous work ethic. He was always a thinker. He could look at another goalie and critique him. Knowing if they only did one or two things different they could be better.
“He’s done that with our guys and it’s been little things. They didn’t need huge makeovers. Each one was brought here because they do something well. He takes what they do well and sprinkles in a couple little things to make them better.”
Holmgren said Reese’s work with Michael Leighton was the best example, noting Reese got Leighton to “stay back in his net a little deeper because he’s such a big guy. With that little tweak, all of the sudden Michael was doing a really good job for us.”
Reese also worked with Emery on some lateral movement adjustments. He chatted with Boucher about rebounds, and saw an improvement there.
“I played with Grant Fuhr, Mike Vernon, Marty Brodeur and Sean Burke and my first couple of goalie coaches were Johnny Bower and Glenn Hall, so you’re not going to get much better than that,” Reese said. “I understand the position, but it’s all about relationships for me.
“The biggest thing with my job is I have to form relationships and I have to earn trust. Until I do that nothing is going to happen. If I tell a guy to do something different, and he doesn’t trust me, it’s not going to work. If he tries it and he starts having success, then even more good things can come of it.”
Goalies are creatures of habit and are usually resistant to change. Reese’s approach is different.