HOCKEY TERMINOLOGY
The Good, Bad and Ugly
Last Update Jan 9, 2008
by Stats Hockey
Hockey Terms


Blue Line - There are 2 thick solid blue lines that are located between the center line and the goal lines. These lines are used for off sides.
Boards - These are the wooden boards which completely surround the ice surface.
Body Check - It is a legal type of hit where one player hits another player on the opposite team with either his shoulder or hip (no elbows or forearms) with the intent on knocking him down to cause a turnover. Hitting below the waist will be penalized (usually).
Center Line - It is the thick broken red line that divides the ice surface completely in half and is used for icings and the 2 line offside.
Changing on the Fly - It is when teams make player changes when the play is still on. Before this rule change 30 years ago teams would have to wait for a stop in play before making a player change.
Checking - It order to get the puck legally away from an opposition player you can either poke the puck off his stick (Poke Check), skate up beside him and lift his stick up and take the puck away with your stick or body check him off the puck.
Chiclets - A hockey term for your, teeth.
Chucking the Knuckles - This is how you would describe a hockey fight.
Circle - There are 5 circles on the ice surface with 1 in the neutral zone and the other 4 located at both ends. All these circles have a dot in the middle (puck drops on) and places where players have to put their skates.
Coco Butt - When one player uses his bare head as a weapon against another player’s bare head.
Crease - This area is shaded in blue and is located on the goal lines just in front of the hockey nets. Opposition players are not supposed to go through this area.
Curve - This usually refers to a player’s blade on their stick. Hockey sticks can either have a straight or curved blade.
Defensive Zone - When (A) team has their goal (net) at one end and (B) team the other end the area from (A) teams blue line to their end boards would be (A) teams defensive zone. This can also be called the defensive end.
Ends - This usually means that teams have to change ends every period. The home team has the preference on what end they want to start, usually end closest to their player's bench.
Fore Checking - This usually means when the (A) team is aggressively checking the (B) team deep in the (A) teams offensive zone or (B) team’s defensive zone.
Full Strength - It means both teams are playing with 5 players a side (not including goalies) in normal play. Each team would have 3 forwards (left winger, center, right winger) 2 defenseman and 1 goalie.
Goal - A goal is called when the puck completely crosses over the goal line.
Goal Line(s) - There are 2 thin red goal lines located at both ends of the rink and are used for icings and goals. The hockey nets sit right on this line in the middle.
Goal Suck - This term usually refers more to street hockey than ice hockey because it is when a player keeps hanging around his opposition's net even though the play is not. He's sucking for a goal.
Glass - It is the Plexiglass that sits on top of the boards and which completely surrounds the ice surface and protects the fans from getting hit by the puck.
Goon - Webster's dictionary definition is a hired ruffian or stupid person. Hockey definition is a tough guy.
Gordie Howe Hat Trick - It's when a player scores a goal and an assist and gets into a fight during the same game.
Hit(s) - This means a player has probably body checked another player. Players can only hit or check the opposition player who has the puck.
Hat Trick - Three goals by one player in a single game is called a hat trick. This is usually followed by fans throwing their hats on the ice (not mandatory).
Hip Check - It is a legal type of hit where one player will hit an opposition player carrying the puck by sticking out his hip (bum) and connecting with his opponent’s hip.
Icings - It is when the puck leaves the attacking players stick before it touches the center line and after it crosses over the other team’s goal line. Some icing is waved off because the defending player could have stopped the puck because it was moving slowly.
Linesman - There are 2 linesmen per game. Their duties are dropping the puck at face-offs except at beginning of periods and after goals, calling off side’s, breaking up fights, etc.
Minor Penalty - These are 2 minute penalties in which a player must serve in the box.
Major Penalty - These are 5 minute penalties in which the player must serve in the box.
Match penalty - These are 5 minute penalties and a game misconduct. Another player must serve out the 5 minutes in the penalty box.
Misconduct - Players can receive a 10 or game misconduct.
Natural Goal - It is when the puck leaves a player's stick and directly goes into the opposition's net without being touched by his or the opposition players.
Neutral Zone - This is the area between the blue lines. This is also referred to as the center ice.
Neutral Zone Trap - This is a type of team defense that will see 4 players on the defending team in the neutral zone and 1 player fore checking in the opposition zone.
Offensive Zone - If the (A) team has their net at one end of the rink and (B) team the other the area from (B) teams blue to their end boards is the offensive zone for (A) team.
Offside - It is when a player from the attacking team crosses completely over the defending teams blue line just before the puck crosses over the blue line. The puck must cross over blue line first.
Penalty - It is a foul called by referees against player(s) who then must serve out this time in the penalty box. A penalty can be 2, 4, 5 minutes and 10 or game misconducts.
Penalty Box - This is where players have to go when serving out a penalty or misconduct.
Penalty Killings - When one team is on the power play the other team is penalty killing. There are usually special players that play on the power play and penalty kill.
Penalty Shot - When one player pulls down another player who was on a breakaway or when a goalie throws his stick in order to make a save will usually get called for the penalty shot.
Period - There are three 20 minutes period and two 15 intermissions in a hockey game.
Point(s) - Goals, first assists and sometimes second assists on a goal are worth one point each.
Power Play - It is when (A) team has player(s) in the penalty box and (B) team does not, so the (B) team will be on the power play until (A) team penalties have been served. (5 on 4), (5 on 3) and (4 on 3) are considered power plays.
Power Play Goal - It is when a team scores a goal while there on a power play.
Puck - It is the small black circular biscuit that is made out of rubber. Players can pass, shoot and score with the puck. Pucks must be frozen before being used.
Referee - There are 2 referees per game which call all penalties, goals and some play stoppages.
Rink - This usually means the ice, boards and glass. The rink dimensions are 200 ft by 85 ft.
Shorthanded - It is when a team is playing down 1 or 2 players because of penalties. Teams can only be down two players at one time.
Shorthanded Goal - It is when a team is scores a goal while there killing a penalty.
Slap Shot - It's a type of shot which the player takes a big back swing with his stick than follows through by slapping the puck off the ice and creating a big follow through.
Stick - The hockey stick is what player's use to pass and shoot the puck. This wooden stick has a long shaft and a straight or curved blade. Shafts can be wood or aluminum.
Tossing Them - See chucking the knuckles.
Twirling - The player is showing more signs of being figure skater than a hockey player.
Two Line Offside - It is when one player from the attacking team makes a pass before his skates touch his own blue line to one of his own players who is standing completely over the center line. The puck crossed over two lines illegally. Not a very good rule.
Wall - See boards.
Wrist Shot - It is a type of shot which the player has to slide the blade of the stick on the ice usually starting behind his body with the puck than following through and snapping his wrists at the end in order to raise and get speed on the puck.
Zamboni - It is a machine that is used to resurface the ice. Basically the front part of this machine actually scrapes away damaged ice usually a quarter inch down or so than the back part of the machine releases hot water which is smoothed out using its squeegee. Top speed around 5 mph. The Generic name for this machine is an ice resurfacer.
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