A goalie with limited staying power in the NHL in the 1970s, Gary Inness played eight years of pro hockey with Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Washington as well as stints in the AHL and WHA. Most famously, he was the number-one goalie for the Penguins in 1974-75 when the team made it to the second round of the playoffs. They led the New York Islanders 3-0 in their best-of-seven series but went on to lose in seven games, only the second team after the 1942 Detroit Red Wings to blow a three-game lead in a playoff series.
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Inness had a pre-game-night superstition of going to a movie and then to Howard Johnson’s for a chocolate sundae. While even a goalie today might understand the comfort of taking in a flick, no goalie would be caught scarfing down a boatload of calories during the season, let alone the night before playing a big game. Nonetheless, it was all part of Inness’s ritual, and it worked for him for a while anyway.
QUICK SHOT JAROMIR JAGR
Jaromir Jagr was one of the most feared scorers during his heyday with the Pittsburgh Penguins, with whom he won the Art Ross Trophy five times, but few opponents knew of his superstition, which would have made for great trash-talking material during games. The night before playing, Jagr liked to have a glass of milk and cookies to settle him down.