One of a small number of goalies to have played for both Toronto and Montreal, Thomas also played parts of four seasons with the New York Rangers during his eight NHL seasons (1972-81; he did not play in 1974-75). He appeared in only four career playoff games, all with the Leafs, and later was an assistant coach in the NHL for several years.
Like any other player, he had a particular way of readying his sticks for puck combat. In his case, he always used black tape, and it had to be from a new roll.
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But Thomas also had a unique superstition that helped him get his mind thinking quickly. As players skated around to loosen up before the opening faceoff, they would, of course, come by and tap his pads, pat his head, or give him a short “good game” wish. As they did so, Thomas would speak their names out loud, sometimes having to fire off a series of monikers in rapid succession. That got his tongue working and his brain thinking at the speed he’d need to react when the slapshots started coming toward his cage. Or so he believed.
QUICK SHOT “TINY” THOMPSON
“Tiny” Thompson was a Hall of Fame goalie who starred with the Boston Bruins for most of the 1930s. He is the team’s all-time leader in games played, wins, shutouts, and career goals-against average. And like any other goalie, he was superstitious. In his case, he always allowed teammate “Cooney” Weiland to score at the end of the pre-game skate. But if Thompson touched the puck inadvertently on its way into the net, he’d have a bad game. Weiland had to score cleanly for “Tiny” to play well.
QUICK SHOT MARK TINORDI
Mark Tinordi played the better part of twelve seasons in the NHL. The large defenceman didn’t have soft hands in the offensive end, but he was one tough hombre inside his own blue line. Yet for all his rough-and-tumble talent, he reverted to childhood on game days, always eating a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich on those mornings.