Basic and Informational Hockey Terms

NHL teams- source NHL.jpg Photo by The National Hockey League

As I continue to watch the NHL Anaheim Ducks hockey that is what I call the best sport in the world (others may argue with that), but I’m ok with that. I have learned so many new hockey terms, ones that I didn’t know even existed so I found a dictionary type list of hockey terms. In this post I will be posting each term that I use in posts and what they mean. Here it goes:

 

2-man advantage: When one team has had two players sent to the penalty box. This leaves the opponent with five skaters to penalized team’s three. The team with the advantage have a very good chance of scoring during this period of play

2-on-1: When a team enters the attacking zone and outnumbers the opposing players in the zone

3-on-2: When a team enters the attacking zone and outnumbers the opposing players in the zone

500- (also known as .500) 50% or even, usually referring to a team’s overall record when their number of wins equals their number of regulation losses.

5-on-3: When one team has had two players sent to the penalty box. This leaves the opponent with five skaters to penalized team’s three. The team with the advantage have a very good chance of scoring during this period of play

5-on-5: When both teams have five players and one goaltender on the ice.

Attacking zone: The opposing team’s end of the ice, as determined by the blue line

Apple: Another term for assist

Backhander of Backhand shot: A shot that is taken from the backside of the blade

Backchecking: Rushing back to the defensive zone in response to an opposing team’s attack

Backdoor: The unprotected side of the goal when the goaltender is protecting one side

Backstop: A goaltender

Bar down: A shot that hits the crossbar and then proceeds down into the net for a goal

Bird cage: The cage on the helmet

Biscuit: The puck

Biscuit in the basket: Scoring a goal

Blocker: The rectangular pad that a goaltender wears on the stick-holding hand (see waffle pad)

Blowing a tire: When a player that is skating falls down for no apparent reason

Blue line: The lines separating the attack/defense zones from the neutral zone

Blueliner: A defenseman

Boarding: Checking a player from behind into the boards

Body checking: Using the hip or body to knock an opponent against the boards or to the ice (also known as hip checking)

Bottle rocket: The event in which a goal is scored and the goaltender’s water bottle, which is placed  on top of the net during play, is propelled into the air by the puck striking it from underneath. When this happens, the shot is almost always from a very steep angle, close to the net.

The box: The area where a player sits to serve the time of a given penalty, for an offense not severe enough to merit outright expulsion from the contest

Breakaway: When a player has possession of the puck and there are no defenders other than the goalie between him and the opposing goal

Butterfly: A style of goaltending wherein the goalie tends to cover the lower half of the net with his leg pads

Breezers: your mom

Bucket: A helmet

Bundled: A player being checked hard

Cage: Metal grid that attaches to the front of a helmet to protect the face

Cannonading Drive: A very hard slap-shot taken from the point

Catcher or Catch glove: The webbed glove that the goaltender wears on the hand opposite the stick (also known as the trapper)

Centre (or center): A forward position whose primary zone of play is the middle of the ice

Change on the fly: Substituting a player from the bench while the game clock is running

Cherry picking: When a player stays near their opponent’s defensive zone waiting for an outlet pass in order to receive a breakaway

Chippy: Using, or characterized by, aggressive, rough play or commission of fouls

Coast to coast: A solo scoring chance originating in the player’s own defensive zone.

Coincidental penalties: When both teams are assessed an equal amount of penalties at the same time, usually on the same play or incident

Contract year: The last year of a multi-year contract

Cookie Jar: Top section of the net

Crashing the net:  Players head with full steam to the front of the net, into the goalie’s space and/or straight into the goalie. (also known as crashing the crease)

Crease: The blue ice in front of each net

Cross-checking: The act of checking an opponent with the shaft of the stick held in both hands. This is illegal and earns a minor or major penalty depending on the severity of the infraction

D to D: A pass from one defenseman to another defenseman, both on the same team

Dangle: When a player handles the puck or himself in such a manner to fool the opponent into moving out of position, allowing the player to get past.

Dangler: A player who has exceptionally good stick handling abilities and can easily fool opposing players

Defensive zone: The defending team’s zone as determined by the blue line

Deke: When a player handles the puck or himself in such a manner to fool the opponent into moving out of position, allowing the player to get past.

Delay of game: Deliberately causing a stoppage of play; player is penalized with a minor penalty

Delayed offside: If a player enters the attacking zone ahead of the puck but does not touch it, the play is offside but no whistle is blown immediately, thus creating a delayed offside. When all players from the offside team leave their offensive zone and go into the neutral zone the linesman cancels the offside infraction. Conversely, if the offending team touches the puck before leaving their offensive zone the whistle is blown for the offside infraction.

Delayed penalty: When a penalty is called, the referee will raise his arm to indicate that one is being called, but if the team who committed the infraction is not in control of the puck, no whistle will be blown until a player from the offending team controls the puck

Delayed whistle: An official waits to blow his whistle, usually due to a delayed offside or delayed penalty call.

Dirty: Physical play in hockey, typically consisting of disallowed techniques such as elbowing, high-sticking, cross-checking, and fighting

Dipsy Doodle: A fancy deke which fools the opponent, allowing the puck handler to sneak past ‘in style’

Dive: When a play embellishes contact made against him in order to entice the referee into calling a penalty against the opposition; however sometimes this ends up in a “unsportsmanlike conduct” penalty being called against the embellishing player

Donkey Kong: When a goaltender is on his stomach and the shot is going over the goaltender’s body, the goaltender bends both legs up to try to block the puck in mid air and from going into the net (usually used in the most desperate situations)

Drop pass: When a player passes the puck behind himself to a teammate

Dropping the mitts: A fight

Dummied: When a player is hit hard and lays on the ice without moving for at least 3 seconds

Dump and chase: An offensive strategy used to get the puck over the opposing team’s blue line and into the corners where players can race to get it, thereby moving the play into the attacking zone

Empty net goal: A goal scored when the opposing goalie is not on the ice (normally when there is a few minutes left in the game)

Enforcer: A player quick to fight who defends his teammates against violent members of the other team

Extra attacker: A player who has been substituted for the team’s goaltender on the ice (usually happens in the last few minutes in the game)

Faceoff: The method used to begin play at the beginning of a period or after a stoppage of play. The two teams line up in opposition to each other. One player from each team attempts to gain control of the puck after it is dropped by an official between their sticks onto a “face-off spot” on the ice.

Face wash: When a player rubs his hockey glove over the face of an opponent

Fan: When a player misses the puck when attempting to play or shoot it.

Filthy: Something that is unreal or referring to an amazing play or style

Fisticuffs: A fight

Five on three: When one team has had two players sent to the penalty box. This leaves the opponent with five skaters to penalized team’s three. The team with the advantage have a very good chance of scoring during this period of play

Five on five: When both teams have five players and one goaltender on the ice.

Five-hole: The gap between a goaltender’s legs

Flop: When the tongue of the skate is bent, 90 degrees or more, at the ankle

Flow: The swift act dangling on the rush, or a player’s hair coming out of the back of their helmet

Fore-checking: Checking in the offensive zone in order to gain control of the puck and set up a scoring opportunity

Freezing the puck: The act of trapping the puck so it cannot be played (goalies are the players who freeze the pucks)

Full strength: When both teams have five players and one goaltender on the ice.

Gate: The area where a player sits to serve the time of a given penalty, for an offense not severe enough to merit outright expulsion from the contest

Garbage goal: A goal that takes little talent to score. Most such goals are scored from right in front of the net, often when the goaltender is out of position

Goal: A goal is scored when a puck completely crosses the goal line within the goal frame.

Goal line: The line that the puck must completely cross in order to be considered a goal

Goon: A player quick to fight who defends his teammates against violent members of the other team

Gong Show: 1) A player that usually is above the average size and thinks he is the best player out on the ice, but really is awful (refer to bender). 2) A game that devolves into a series of fights and altercations, often with numerous players being thrown out of the game

Gordie Howe hat trick: A Gordie Howe hat trick is when one player scores a goal, notches an assist and gets into a fight all in the same game (a natural Gordie Howe hat trick occurs when a player does all three in one period, however many players who see this as ostentatious and it can be frowned upon in some hockey circles

Greasy: As in a ‘greasy goal’ or a ‘greasy win’ that is not pretty, but gets the job done through hard work

Gretzky’s office: The area behind the net, made known by Wayne Gretzky for his ability to set up and score goals from there

Hand pass: The act of passing the puck using one’s hand. This is legal inside a team’s defensive zone, but illegal in the neutral zone and attacking zone, even if the pass originates from another zone

Hash marks: The straight lines from the faceoff circles in front of both nets. Used to line up faceoffs

Haymaker: A fighting fist swing coined from hockey fights, where you swing your fist in a wide arc starting behind you and coming wide around with a straight arm to catch the opponent from the side

Hat-trick: When one player scores three goals in one game

High stick: The act of hitting a player in the head or shoulders with a stick. Also the act of hitting the puck in the air above the height of the top goal pipe (4’)

Hip checking: Using the hip to knock an opponent against the boards or to the ice

Home-ice advantage: The ability to make the last line change

Hockey bag: A duffle bag for hockey equipment

Hooking: Using a stick to hold or slow down a player (illegal)

Howitzer: A very fast slap shot

Icing: Icing occurs when a player shoots the puck across both the center red line and the opposing team’s goal line without the puck going into the net or being able to be touched by an opposing player in their neutral or defensive zones. If an offensive player touches the puck first after it crosses both the red line and the goal line, icing is negated. When icing occurs, a linesman stops play. Play is resumed with a faceoff in the defending zone of the team that committed the infraction (with the team that committed the infraction being unable to make a line change during the stoppage)

Jersey, Jersied, Jerseying: In a hockey fight, pulling the opponent jersey over their head so they are stuck inside the jersey while you continue to fight

Jibs: The teeth

Laser: A hard, accurate shot

Laying on the lumber: Striking an opponent’s arms or lower body with the hockey stick. Usually penalty is incurred.

Left wing: A forward position of a player whose primary zone of play on the ice is along the outer playing area. A right winger is responsible for the right-hand side of the ice and a left winger is responsible for the left-hand side

Left wing lock: A defensive ice hockey strategy similar to the neutral zone trap. In the most basic form, once puck possession changes, the left wing moves back in line with the defensemen. Each defender (including the left winger) play a zone defense and are responsible for a third of the ice. Since there are normally only two defensemen, this tactic helps to avoid odd man rushes

Light the lamp: Scoring a goal

Line brawl:  A series of fights involving most, or all, players on the ice at the same time.

Long change: In the second period, the goaltenders change ends, meaning that the players’ bench is closer to the offensive zone rather than the defensive zone. The “long change” can be a factor when a tired line is stuck in the defensive zone and cannot come off due to the increased distance to the bench

Long side: The side of the goal furthest from the shooter

Man advantage: When one team is penalized, and one of its players sent to the penalty box, the second team maintains a man advantage for the duration of the penalty (Major penalty) or until a goal is scored (Minor penalty). If two penalties are called on one team there will be a two man advantage. If more than two penalties are called on one team the man advantage is limited to two men

Man on: A warning from teammates to a player that an opposing player is near him. Usually given in loose puck situations

Murphy dump: The technique of clearing the puck out of the defensive zone by lifting it high above the oppositions heads, with it dropping before reaching the opposing goal line. (popularized by Larry Murphy while with the Pittsburgh Penguins)

Natural hat-trick: A player scores three goals in a row without any player from either team scoring in between them, also when three goals are scored by one player in one period

Neutral zone: The area between both blue lines)

Neutral zone trap: A defensive strategy focused on proceeding the opposing team from proceeding with the puck through the neutral zone and attempting to take the puck from the opposing team

Odd man rush: When a team enters the attacking zone and outnumbers the opposing players in the zone

Offensive zone: The opposing team’s end of the ice, as determined by the blue line

One timer: The act of shooting the puck directly off a pass without playing the puck in any way

Paddle: The wide portion of the blade of a goalie’s stick

Penalty box: The area where a player sits to serve the time of a given penalty, for an offense not severe enough to merit outright expulsion from the contest

Playmaker: A fast player who usually scores more assists than goals. A playmaker has the speed and balance to make plays, and frequently relies on a sniper to finish them

Playoff beard: The superstitious practice of a hockey player not shaving off his facial hair during the playoffs, consequently growing a beard.

Plus-minus: A hockey statistic that can apply to a player or an offensive or defensive line indicating whether they were on the ice when the opposing team scored (a minus) or on the ice when their team scored (a plus).

The point: A player in the opponent’s end zone at the junction of the blue line with the boards is said to be at the point

Poke checking: Using the stick to poke the puck away from an opponent

Pond hockey: A form of outdoor hockey similar to shinny. A fan might state that their team ‘looks like they’re playing pond hockey’ if the players are not displaying the heart or concentration upon the game that their elite professional level demands

Power forward: A power forward is a large, muscular offensive player (6’0”-6’5”, 210 to 240 pounds), with the mobility to track a puck to the corners of the rink, the physical toughness required to dig it out, and the puck-handling skills to get it back to anyone in front of the net.

Powerplay: A powerplay occurs when one team has more players on the ice than the other team as a result of penalties assessed to the shorthanded team

Pull the goalie: Removing the goalie from the ice in order to temporarily replace him with an extra skater (attacker). This usually om the final minutes of the game when a team is behind by 1 or 2 goals and can be surprisingly effective for a last ditch effort

Quick whistle: A stoppage in play that occasionally occurs when an on-ice official view of the puck is obstructed while the puck is still moving or playable but the official stops the play with a whistle. The most common example of this is a goaltender appearing to have trapped the puck underneath his catcher, yet the puck is still freely moving and within legal striking distance of the opposing players. The official will whistle the play “dead” with the puck still visible to others. This often draws an unfavorable reaction from hometown crowds when the whistle negates a perceived scoring chance for the home team

Rearguard: A defenseman.

Rebound: When the puck bounces off a goalie, a player, or the net after a shot on goal

Referee’s crease: The semi-circle area at the red line along the scorer’s bench into which a player may not follow a referee

Ringing the pipe: A hard shot that squarely hits the goal post or crossbar and makes a ringing sound

Right wing: A forward position of a player whose primary zone of play on the ice is along the outer playing area. A right winger is responsible for the right-hand side of the ice and a left winger is responsible for the left-hand side

Ripple the twine: Scoring a goal

Rocked:  Big hit

Roofie: Shooting high on a goalie that always drops to his pads; shooting for the “roof” of the net

Roughing: Penalty for aggressively interfering with another player

Sauce: The amount of force put into a shot or pass. Reference is usually to hot sauce, being that they both pack a punch

Saucer pass: An airborne pass from one player to another. (it is like a flying saucer)

Saucer: A saucer pass

Screened shot: A shot that the goaltender cannot see due to other players obscuring it

Shadow: When a player is assigned to ‘shadow’ or follow a player (usually of exceptional skill) to hamper their impact upon the game

Shaft: The long part of the stick that is straight and is held by the player

Shorthanded: When a team has fewer players on the ice than the opposing team as a result of penalties

Shortside: The side of the goal closest to the shooter

Shot on goal (SOG): A shot that will enter the goal if it not stopped by the goaltender. A shot on goal must result in either a goal or a save (shots that hit the main pipes of the goal are not counted as shots)

Show: Term for a professional or NHL game

Shuffle the muffin: When a player handles the puck or himself in such a manner to fool the opponent into moving out of position, allowing the player to get past.

Shutdown: A defensive play that stops an offensive play.

Shutdown player: A player skilled at defensive play

Shutdown pair: Two forwards or defensemen working together, fundamentally to stop the opposing teams offensive players

Sin bin: The penalty box.

Sieve: Refers to a goalie who allows a lot of goals

Slapshot: A hard shot, usually with a big wind up wherein the player bends his stick on the ice and allows the energy stored in bending the stick to launch the puck forward

Slashing: Striking an opponent’s arms or lower body with the hockey stick. Usually penalty is incurred.

Slew foot: Sweeping or kicking out a player’s skate or tripping them from behind, causing them to fall backwards.

Slot: The area on the hockey rink directly in front of the goaltender between the face-off circles on each side

Slow whistle: When an official is slow to blow his whistle compared to when the whistle would be blown under similar circumstances

Snap shot: A snap shot is a like an abbreviated slap shot. The purpose of the snap shot is to combine the main advantages of the wrist shot (shot accuracy and quick delivery) and the slap shot (puck speed). The stick should start at your hip when shooting

Sniper: A player with a powerful, accurate shot skilled at finishing plays. Snipers frequently score more goals than assists. Snipers can be either forwards or defensemen

Spin-o-rama: A phrase coined by sportscaster Danny Gallivan to describe a player complementing several tight circles with the puck fully under control of his stick, eluding pursuing opponents who cannot keep up or intercept the player.

Split the D: When an offensive player confuses or out maneuvers two defensemen in order to get between them

Stack the pads: A save wherein the goaltender drops to one side and makes the save with his leg pads

Stands on his head: When the goaltender makes many spectacular saves, usually resulting in a win for his team.

Stay-at-home defenseman: A defenseman who plays very defensively. He doesn’t skate with the puck toward the offensive zone very often but will look to pass first. Usually the last player to leave his defensive zone.

Stick checking: Using the stick to interfere with an opponent’s stick

Stickhandling: The act of controlling the puck with one’s stick, especially while maneuvering through opponents

Stoned: A goalkeeper makes a great save and the shooter is “stoned”

Stripes: Referees

Style: Refers to whether the player has a good setup of equipment

Sunburn: When the red goal indicator light lights up a lot behind a goal, he gets sunburned

Sweep checking: Using the stick in a sweeping motion to knock the puck away from an opponent or deter him from passing.

T-bar: The front, top bar on the frame of a hockey net, running perpendicular to the posts

Tilly: A fight

Toe drag: Dragging the puck along the ice with the end (toe) of the stick blade on the ice as opposed to pushing with the bottom edge

Top ched: The top section of the net

Top shelf: The top section of the net

The trap: Also called the “neutral zone trap”, is a defensive-style hockey strategy in which a team loads up the neutral zone with players so that the opposing team has a difficult time crossing the blue line and gaining the zone. It is considered to be very boring to watch

Trapezoid: In the NHL, the trapezoidal area behind the goal line and net where the goaltender may touch the puck. A minor penalty (delay of game) is assessed if the goaltender plays the puck behind the goal line outside of the trapezoid

Trapper: The webbed glove that the goaltender wears on the hand opposite the stick

Trolley tracks: Coined by Don Cherry, the trolley tracks are two ‘lanes’ in the neutral zone, located midway between the center face-off dot and the boards, spanning from blue-line to blue-line. They are named this due to the common occurrence of a forward receiving a pass from his defense-man during breakout, and then getting completely demolished by an opposing player, usually because they are still looking back at where the pass had originated. This pass is often referred to as a suicide pass. It can be blamed on either the defense-man for setting up such an obvious pass, or the player receiving the pass for not keeping their head up

Twig: A player’s stick

Two-way forward: A forward who handles the defensive aspects of the game as well as the offensive aspects

Undressing: The act of the puck carrier displaying exceptional skill in out-maneuvering the defender, usually in a 1 on 1 situation with the last defender “He undresses the defenseman and walks in on goal!”

Video judge goal: An off-ice official who reviews a goal by video instant replay

Waffle: The goalie’s blocker. This term stemmed from the visual appearance of the blocker in the pre-modern ice hockey equipment

Waffle-boarding: A quick save with the goalie’s blocker, usually a sideways-sweeping motion

Wheels: A player’s skates

Whole sale: When every single player from a team changes on the fly (except the goalie). Also could be used with just one single offensive line changing

Winger: A forward position of a player whose primary zone of play on the ice is along the outer playing area. A right winger is responsible for the right-hand side of the ice and a left winger is responsible for the left-hand side

Wrap around: Scoring from behind the net

Wrist shot: A type of shot that involves using arm muscles to propel a puck forward from the open-faced, concave part of the blade of a hockey stick

Yard sale: When a player gets knocked to the ice and loses a piece of his equipment or when a team wins an important game and throws their hockey gloves/sticks/helmets all about the ice

Zone: One of three zones on the ice, the offensive zone, the neutral zone, and the defensive zone

Zebras: Another name for the referees/officials

 

 

 

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