In the National Hockey League, a regular season game between two teams who are close to each other in the standings and in the same division or conference. The teams fighting for position have the opportunity to win a game while assuring that their opponent loses, thus putting four standings points (two for each team) into play.
The opposing team's end of the ice; extends from the blue line to the end boards.
A slang term used to describe an assist.
Attributed to up to two players of the scoring team who shot, passed or deflected the puck towards the scoring teammate.
A pass or shot that is taken from the backside of the blade of the stick.
Rushing back to the defensive zone in response to an opposing team's attack.
A long looping turn instead of a more energetic stop and start to reverse direction while skating.
Slang for the puck.
Biscuit in the basket
To put the puck in the net (to score a goal).
The rectangular pad that a goaltender wears on the stick-holding hand. (See waffle pad.)
Blow a tire
When a player falls to the ice for no apparent reason other than losing their footing.
The lines separating the attacking/defending zones from the neutral zone.
Checking a defenseless player in the back, causing them to violently fall/impact into the boards. This typically leads to the face/head of the unaware player to hit first, causing greater chance of injury. Usually a penalty.
Glass walls surrounding the playing surface.
Using the hip or body to knock an opponent, sometimes against the boards or to the ice. Illegal in the women's game.
When a player has possession of the puck and there are no defenders other than the goalie between him and the opposing goal.
Bottle Rocket / Bottle Knocker
When a goal is scored that strikes the underside of the top of the net, resulting in the goaltender's water bottle being dislodged or knocked off.
Broke their ankles
When a defensive player falls after being deked while skating backwards.
A style of goaltending wherein the goalie tends to drop to their knees to cover the lower half of the net with his or her leg pads.
The act of jabbing an opponent with the knob of their stick. A major plus a game misconduct penalty.
When the puck hits the crossbar and goes in the net. Also called Bar South.
Short for ankle bender, a derogatory term for a player who bends their ankles when skating.
A method used to start or restart play in informal hockey or shinny, played without a referee. The puck is placed between two opposing players. The players tap the flat sides of their sticks three times and then go for the puck.
A goal that is scored just before a period expires. The puck must completely cross the goal line before the clock reads 0.00.
Metal grid that attaches to the front of a helmet to protect the face; occasionally also refers to the goal.
Catcher or Catching 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 during live play, i.e. not at a faceoff.
The act of taking more than three strides while delivering a body check or leaving their feet to deliver a hit. A penalty.
Check to the head
A hit where the primary contact is made to an opponent's head. A major or match penalty in the NHL if such a hit is made from a lateral or blind side position. In other leagues and organizations, any check to the head can be a minor or major penalty, often including an automatic misconduct or game misconduct penalty.
Checking from behind
The act of hitting an opponent from the back when they are unaware the hit is coming. A penalty.
When a player stays near their opponent's defensive zone waiting for an outlet pass in order to receive a breakaway. Also called loafing.
The act of mocking another player, ref, or fan. Primarily ridiculous and childlike remarks.
Hitting an opponent below the knees. A penalty.
When both teams are assessed an equal amount of penalties at the same time, usually on the same play or incident.
Crashing the net
Players head with full steam to the front of the net, usually with intentions of finding a rebound or loose puck. Also known as crashing the crease.
See goal crease.
The act of checking an opponent with the shaft of the stick held in both hands. A penalty.
An offensive strategy that moves the puck along the boards in the offensive zone to create a scoring chance by making defenders tired or moving them out of position.
When a player does a series of dekes in a row to get around the opposing players.
The boards, referred to when a player caroms the puck off the boards to clear the puck of their defensive zone or to execute a pass.
One of two players that are positioned further back on the ice than the forwards.
A player in the act of defending against an opposing attack (not necessarily a defenseman).
The defending team's zone; extends from the blue line to the end boards.
Comes from the word decoy. When a player handles the puck or himself in such a way to dupe an 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.
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.
When a penalty is called, the referee will raise his or her 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. In this situation the other team will usually exchange their goalie for an extra skater to increase their chances of scoring before the penalty is called.
An official waits to blow his whistle, usually due to a delayed offside or delayed penalty call.
When a player 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.
Double minor penalty
Some minor penalties, which are 2 minute penalties, may be assessed an additional 2 minutes (4 minutes total), if they are especially flagrant or injurious. A high sticking infraction that draws visible blood will usually be given a double minor penalty.
When a player passes the puck behind himself to a teammate.
Dropping the gloves
When one or more players toss their gloves to the ice in preparation for, or to instigate, a fight. Play is whistled 'dead' until the fight is finished, and the players involved will usually incur a five-minute major penalty each.
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.
A derogatory term for a player who always sits on the bench. The reason they are called dusters is because they "collect dust".
When the final score is zero.
The act of using an extended elbow or forearm to make contact with an opponent. Results in a penalty.
Empty net goal
A goal scored when the opposing goalie is not on the ice.
A player who defends his teammates against violent members of the other team.
Teams have an equal number of players (not necessarily their full complement of five) on the ice. Also see Full strength.
A player who has been substituted for the team's goaltender on the ice.
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.
A centre whose primary skill is winning faceoffs but (generally) provides very little else. (e.g. Yanic Perreault or Manny Malhotra)
One of nine painted circles on the ice where a faceoff may occur. Two in each attacking/defending zone, two each near the corners of the neutral zone, and one at centre ice.
Intentionally rubbing the open palm of a glove in an opponent's face to annoy them.
When two or more players punch each other repeatedly. A major penalty, and results in a game misconduct in many leagues.
A strap inside the back of the jersey that loops through the belt, so that the jersey may not be pulled over a player's head during a fight.
Five on three
Also known as a 2-man advantage. When one team has had two players sent to the penalty box. This leaves the opponent with five skaters (i.e., not including the goaltender) to penalized team's three.
Five on four
Also known as a one-man advantage. When a team is short one player due to a penalty being incurred.
Five on five
See full strength.
Five-holeThe gap between a goaltender's legs.
A goalie prone to going down on the ice to stop pucks. The opposite of a 'Stand Up' goalie.
A term for long, flowing hair, popular among hockey players.
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.
When both teams have five skaters and one goaltender on the ice.
A penalty that results in a player being ejected from the game. For statistical purposes, a player receiving a game misconduct is often credited with 10 or 20 penalty minutes.
Space between the opponent and the puck.
When the puck goes over the goal line in front of the net.
An area of the ice that extends from the goal line in front of the net, often shaped like a semicircle and painted in a different colour.
An off-ice official who signals when a goal has been scored, usually by turning a red light on above the net.
The line that extents from the post to the boards and if the puck crosses the line in front of the net it is a goal.
Goal line save
When the puck touches the goal line but does not cross it.
A selfish player who stands near the goal awaiting a pass from teammates so he can score and get all the glory while they do the work.
A player, aka 'goalie,' who plays in and around the goal (net), whose job it is to make "saves," i.e., prevent the other team from making goals, by stopping the puck from crossing the goal line.
A general term for either an enforcer or a pest, depending on the situation.
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).
A player valued more for hard work and checking skills, especially along the boards, than scoring ability, who often sets up goal opportunities for offensive players.
A fourth line player who sits on the bench where the forwards and defensemen split.
A game misconduct penalty for gross unsportsmanlike conduct. Obsolete.
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.
The straight lines from the faceoff circles in front of both nets. Used to line up faceoffs.
When one player scores three goals in one game. Fans will honor the player by throwing their hats onto the ice.
The act of deliberately hitting an opponent or directing the puck into the net when leading with one's head. Headbutting an opponent is a penalty, but headbutting the puck into the net results in no goal.
A quick tilt of the head in one direction, followed by a quick move in the opposite direction to fool a defending opponent.
An uninjured player on the roster who does not dress for a game. Only 20 players (22 in international competition) are allowed to dress for a game, players who are not going to play are considered scratches.
(1) (high-sticking) The act of hitting a player in the head or shoulders with a stick. A penalty (a single minor if no blood is drawn; a double minor if blood is drawn).
High stick(2) Contacting the puck with a stick that is raised above the shoulders. If the puck is subsequently contacted again by the offending player or a teammate before an opponent touches it, the play is blown dead. A goal scored as a result of a puck being contacted by an attacking player's stick raised above the crossbar shall be disallowed.
Using the hip to knock an opponent against the boards or to the ice.
A body check that "removes the opposing player from the puck."
The act of impeding an opponent by grabbing onto them. A penalty.
Holding the stick
The act of grabbing an opponent's stick. A penalty.
The ability to make the last line change and having your own fans there for moral support.
The act of impeding an opponent by placing the blade of a stick into their body. A penalty.
A very fast slap shot.
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.
When icing occurs, a linesman stops play. Play is resumed with a faceoff in the defending zone of the team that committed the infraction. In the NHL and many professional leagues, icing can be negated if a player from the team committing the icing touches the puck before a defender, in which case play continues (the linesman nearest the puck will indicate this with a "washout" signal).
In many amateur leagues, the no-touch icing rule is used, meaning play stops as soon as the puck crosses the goal line. The NHL adopted a rule where the team that committed the infraction is unable to make a line change during the stoppage to discourage teams from icing the puck to "get a whistle" and change lines; this change has been adopted by many pro and high-level amateur leagues, but not all.
A vehicle that reconditions ice before play and between periods of a game to smooth out and clean the ice for optimal glide of both puck and skate. Many may know this from the developer and brand name, Zamboni.
The act of impeding an opponent who does not control the puck. A penalty.
A strategy used by a team defending against a five-on-three advantage. The two defensemen, a forward, and the goaltender align themselves in a diamond shape so that imaginary lines drawn through the two defensemen and through the forward and goaltender form the shape of a cross. This is usually a highly defensive strategy, designed to kill off a penalty as safely as possible.
A jill is a simple device used to protect the pelvic area of a female ice hockey player.
A jock is a simple device used to protect the testicles of a male ice hockey player.
(1) The act of propelling the puck using the skates. A goal may not be scored by kicking a puck into the opposing team's net.
(2) The act kicking an opposing player. A match penalty.
The act of making contact with an opposing player when leading an outstretched knee. A penalty.
Left wing lock
The left wing lock is 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 each. Since there are normally only two defensemen, this tactic helps to avoid odd man rushes.
Light the Lamp
To score a goal. A light above the net turns on when a goal is scored.
To score an own goal, i.e.: when a defensive player scores into his own net.
A combination of a specific left winger, center, and right winger. Most teams, for the sake of chemistry, maintain specific three-man lines for different situations (first and second lines for scoring, third lines for defensive-oriented grinders, and fourth lines for pests and enforcers). Lines that play together for several years have become famous in their own right (such as the Russian Five and the French Connection).
A series of fights involving most, or all, players on the ice at the same time.
During play, or after a whistle, a team may choose to switch out their forwards and/or their defensemen, in order to keep their players fresh, or to match certain players against certain opposing players.
An official responsible for conducting most faceoffs and for calling off-side and icing infractions. Can call some penalties. Usually two linesmen on the ice during a game.
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.
Lighting a candle
Hitting someone so hard that they fall over.
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.
A five-minute penalty
A five-minute penalty that includes automatic expulsion from the game and, depending on the league, possibly subsequent games. Often called for attempts to deliberately injure an opponent, official or fan.
Also called a "high wrap," or simply the "lacrosse move," the maneuver of lifting the puck with the stick and throwing it under the top corner of the goal, while skating behind the net, while the goaltender protects the bottom corner. Bill Armstrong invented the move, but Mike Legg made it into a permanent sports reel staple while playing for the University of Michigan. Using the Michigan in a full-speed variation, Mikael Granlund scored a goal at the 2011 IIHF World Championship semifinal versus Russia, helping Finland progress into the final.
A two-minute penalty.
A penalty where the offending player is ruled off the ice for 10 minutes, but may be substituted for on the ice. See also game misconduct, gross misconduct
A shot that wavers in the air when traveling towards the goal, usually used in recognition of a goal that should have been stopped, or a bad shot.
A player scores three goals sucessively in a game.
A goalie, see Goaltender.
Area of the ice between the blue lines
Neutral zone trap
A defensive strategy focused on preventing the opposing team from proceeding with the puck through the neutral zone (the area between both blue lines) and attempting to take the puck from the opposing team.
When a team enters the attacking zone and outnumbers the opposing players in the zone.
See Attacking zone.
A person who regulates game play, either on or off the ice. See also: linesman, referee
The act of shooting the puck directly off a pass without playing the puck in any way.
An extra session of play added on after the full regulation time has concluded in order to resolve a tie. The first team to score in overtime wins the game.
When a player shoots the puck at the net with the goalie off the ice or out of position.
The act of a team (usually unintentionally) shooting the puck into their own net instead of their opponent's. For statistical purposes, the last player on the opposing team to touch the puck is awarded the goal.
The wide portion above the blade of a goalie's stick.
The area where a player sits to serve the time of a given penalty.
See shorthanded. Also refers to lineups, tactics and play by a team during the shorthanded period. Icing is not enforced on a shorthanded team.
A penalty shot is assessed when a defender is in extreme violation of a rule to prevent a scoring opportunity. Examples are tripping a breakaway opponent from behind, the throwing of a stick or use of hands on the puck by a defender other than the goalie. The offensive player is awarded an opportunity to take control of the puck at center ice and skate in on the defending goalie one on one in an attempt to score.
Player with great speed and quickness.
A player known for agitating opposing players, usually through frequent hitting, sometimes of questionable legality.
The goaltender's leg pads.
(1) A fast player who usually has more assists than goals. A Playmaker has the speed and balance to make plays, and frequently relies on a sniper to finish them.
(2) A player has three assists in one game.
The superstitious practice of a hockey player not shaving off his facial hair during the playoffs, consequently growing a beard.
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). Goals scored when on a power-play or a penalty kill do not count for a player's plus or minus, respectively, unless a goal is scored while the scoring team is shorthanded.
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.
Using the stick to poke the puck away from an opponent.
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.
A handshake between opposing players, who line up parallel to each other, at center ice, after a game. (In the NHL post-game handshakes are usually reserved until the end of a playoff series and are not a normal event during the regular season).
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.
A power play 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
Remove the goalie from the ice in order to temporarily replace him with an extra skater (attacker).
Generally, an offensive defenseman that plays one of the points on the power play, and is adept at skating and handling the puck.
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.
A rebound occurs when the puck bounces off a goalie, a player, or the net (or occasionally, the back boards) after a shot on goal.
The official in charge of the game. Responsible for maintaining the flow of the game, calling penalties and starting and stopping play. Can be one or two referees on the ice during a game.
The semi-circular area at the red line, beside the scorer's bench, into which a player may not enter when occupied by a referee (during a stoppage of play).
Riding the pine
A player confined to the bench (commonly pine) by a coach due to unsatisfactory performance. Also known as benched.
The playing surface
The act of contacting an opponent with the hand or fist when making a punching motion. A penalty.
An airborne pass from one player to another. It is called a saucer pass because the puck resembles a flying saucer in mid air. Actually a low lob pass, barely off the ice but high enough to clear a defender's stick blade.
To stop the puck from crossing the goal line, preventing the opposing team from scoring a goal.
An attempt or chance for a team or player to score a goal.
A shot that the goaltender cannot see due to other players obscuring it.
The long part of the stick that is straight and is held by the player.
The period of time a player, line or defensive pairing is on the ice before being replaced by another.
A team is said to be shorthanded when they have fewer players on the ice than the opposing team as a result of a penalty or penalties.
The side of the goal closest to the shooter.
Shot on goal
A shot that will enter the goal if it is not stopped by the goaltender. Shots that either hit the side of the net or miss the goal completely do not count as shots on goal, nor do shots that hit a goalpost or crossbar and do not cross the goal line. Similarly, shots that are stopped or otherwise played by the goalie that would not, according to the judgment of the official scorer, have scored are not counted as shots on goal.
See penalty shot. A series of penalty shots by both teams to determine the winning team after a regulation game and overtime period ends in a tie. In the NHL this occurs only during the regular season.
A player skilled at defensive play.
Two forwards or defensemen working together, fundamentally to stop the opposing team's offense players.
The penalty box.
Any player who is not a goaltender.
A slapshot is 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.
The act of contacting an opponent's body or stick with one's own as a result of a swinging motion. A penalty.
Sweeping or kicking out a player's skate or tripping them from behind, causing them to fall backwards. A match penalty.
The area on the hockey rink directly in front of the goaltender between the face-off circles on each side.
When an official is slow to blow his whistle compared to when the whistle would be blown under similar circumstances.
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). Unlike a slap shot, there is no backswing windup, and very little follow through.
A player with a powerful, accurate shot skilled at finishing plays. From the military term of the same name.
The act of jabbing an opponent with the blade of the stick. A double-minor penalty at minimum.
A collective term for the players that play on the power play and shorthanded units.
A phrase coined by sportscaster Danny Gallivan to describe a player completing several tight circles with the puck fully under control of his stick, eluding pursuing opponents who cannot keep up or intercept the player. Currently banned in shootouts in the NHL.
Split the D
When an offensive player confuses or outmaneuvers 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 stacked horizontally atop one another.
Stand on his head
A goalie who plays extremely well and keeps his team from losing when they have not played well is said to have stood on his head.
A goalie that often stays on their skates when a player shoots, as opposed to a butterfly goalie.
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.
Using the stick to interfere with an opponent's stick.
The act of controlling the puck with one's stick, especially while maneuvering through opponents.
A long pass to a moving teammate's feet . This causes the teammate to look down and be open to a devastating body check as the teammate receives the puck.
When a goal is scored, and the light behind the goaltender is lit up, it is said that the goalie got 'sunburned.' Also used when a goaltender has allowed too many goals (i.e. Our goaltender is getting sunburned tonight).
The act of returning to the neutral zone after a delayed offside is signaled by the linesman.
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.
The upper area of the goal, just below the crossbar and above the goaltender's shoulders. Also known colloquially as "where momma hides the cookies," a phrase popularized by announcer Rick Jeanneret.
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.
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.
See Catching glove.
The act of knocking an opponent down by taking their feet out from under them using a stick or part of the body. A penalty.
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 as such 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 defenseman for setting up such an obvious pass, or the player receiving the pass for not keeping their head up.
The area on both ends of a bench where the edge of the glass is padded and meets the boards at a right angle. Players have been checked into the turnbuckles causing serious injury. The NHL has replaced this with rounded corners as a safer alternative.
A hockey stick.
A forward who handles the defensive aspects of the game as well as the offensive aspects.
Throwing his stick
When a player throws his stick, usually to another player when that player's stick breaks.
Video goal judge
An off-ice official who reviews a goal by video instant replay.
The goalie's blocker. This term stemmed from the visual appearance of the blocker in the pre-modern ice hockey equipment era (also refer to waffle-boarding).
A quick save with the goalie's blocker, usually a sideways-sweeping motion. Play-by-play announcer Mike Emrick often uses the term in his broadcasts.
In the NHL, an office in Toronto headquarters where games are viewed and reviewed.
Typically referred to when there is time and space to skate with the puck, sometimes is said to tell someone to skate faster.
The area immediately at a player's feet and in line with the player's shoulders, which is the optimum puck location for a player to get the most power from a slapshot.
A team may, during play or after a whistle, choose to switch out their forwards or defenseman. A wholesale change is when all 5 players (3 forwards and 2 defenseman) are changed at the same time. (See Line Change).
A winger is 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.
Scoring from behind the net.
A type of shot that involves using arm muscles (especially those in the wrist and forearm) to propel a puck forward from the open-faced, concave part of the blade of a hockey stick.
When a player gets hit so hard that he loses equipment, usually a helmet, gloves and/or stick. Alternatively, the term is also used to describe the scene on ice after a line brawl (see above) leaving gloves, sticks, and helmets on the ice.
A popular brand of ice resurfacer (see above).
One of three areas of the ice as divided by the blue lines. See attacking zone, neutral zone or defensive zone.