with the Patrick Division made up the Wales Conference until
the 1992-93 season; renamed the Northeast Division of the
Eastern Conference starting with the 1993-94 season.
a mid-season exhibition game pitting selected stars of the
Campbell Conference against selected stars of the Wales
Conference; beginning in 1993-94 games will be between the
Eastern Conference and Western Conference.
the pass or passes which immediately precede a successful
scoring attempt; a maximum of two assists are credited for one
the area between the opponents' blue line and their goal.
an attempt by a player, on his way back to his defensive zone,
to regain the puck from the opposition by checking or
harassing an opponent who has the puck.
a shot or pass made with the stick from the left side by a
right-handed player or from the right side by a left-handed
to get by one or both of the defensemen.
to outwit the goalie and score a goal.
behind the net:
the area of ice behind the goal cage is legal territory.
to pass the puck without looking.
two blue, 12-inch wide lines running parallel across the ice,
each 60 feet from the goal; they divide the rink into three
zones called the attacking, defending and neutral (or center)
zones; defending blue line is the line closer to a player's
own net; attacking blue line is the one farther from his net;
used in determining offsides.
boarding or board-checking:
a minor penalty which occurs when a player uses any method
(body checking, elbowing or tripping) to throw an opponent
violently into the boards; if an injury is caused, it becomes
a major penalty.
boards or board wall:
a wooden wall 3 1/2 to 4 feet high which surrounds the rink to
keep the puck and players from accidentally leaving the rink
and injuring spectators; all rinks have shatterproof glass
that rises above the boards to provide additional protection.
when a hockey player bumps or slams into an opponent with
either his hip or shoulder (the only legal moves) to block his
progress or throw him off-balance; it is only allowed against
an opponent in control of the puck or against the last player
to control it.
a chance to start a rush when the opposing forwards are caught
out of position.
a fast break in which an attacker with the puck skates in
alone on the goalie, having gotten past or clear of the
defensemen, trapping the opponents behind the play.
a pass to a teammate who is trying for a breakaway.
a minor penalty which occurs when an opponent is hit with the
top of a player's hockey stick.
one of the two conferences in the NHL that contained the
Norris and Smythe Divisions until 1992-93; the other
conference was the Wales Conference; starting in 1993-94 these
will be renamed the Eastern and Western Conferences.
a rebound of the puck off the boards or any other object.
center or center forward:
the center player in the forward line who usually leads his
team's attack when they are trying to score a goal; he takes
part in most of the face-offs; he controls the puck and tries
to score or pass it to a teammate who is in a better position
to score a goal.
center face-off circle:
a circle, measuring 30 feet in diameter, at the center of the
ice where the puck is dropped in a face-off to start the game
and to restart the game after a goal has been scored.
the area between the two blue lines, also called the neutral
a pass from an attacking player towards the middle of the ice
to a teammate with a better angle at the goal.
a red, 12-inch wide line across the ice midway between the two
a minor penalty which occurs when a player makes a deliberate
move of more than two steps when body checking an opponent; if
serious injury is caused or blood is drawn it becomes a major
check or checking:
any defensive or guarding tactic used by hockey players
accomplished by moving their bodies against an opponent to get
the puck away; there are two main types of checks: stick check
and body check; these are only allowed against a player in
control of the puck or against the last player to control it;
checking with too many steps or strides becomes charging.
clearing the puck:
getting the puck out of one's own defensive zone.
clearing the zone:
when a defending player sends the puck out of the attacking
zone, all the attacking players must leave or clear the zone
to avoid being called offsides when the puck reenters the
when a player stays close to an opponent to prevent him from
receiving a pass or making a play on offense.
the red lines that form the semi-circular area with a 6-foot
radius in front of the goal called the goal crease.
the horizontal bar that connects the top of the two goalposts.
a minor penalty which occurs when a player holds his stick in
both hands and drives the shaft into an opponent; a stick
check where a player has both hands on the stick and no part
of the stick on the ice; if serious injury is caused or blood
is drawn it becomes a major penalty and a game misconduct.
a puck that flies out of the rink or that a player has caught
in his hand.
two players who make up a team's defensive unit usually
stationed in or near their defensive zone to help the goalie
guard against attack; sometimes they lead an attack. The left
defenseman covers the left half of the rink, the right
defenseman plays to the right, but they can skate into each
consists of two defensemen.
the zone or area nearest a team's goal (the goal they are
causing any pass or shot to stray from its intended course; a
shot or pass that hits some object such as a stick or skate
and goes into the net for a score or when a goalie hits the
a decoying or faking motion by the puck-carrier; the art of
making a defensive player think you are going to pass or move
in a certain direction when you are not. There are shoulder
dekes, stick dekes and head dekes.
delayed penalty or delayed call:
when an official raises his arm but does not blow his whistle,
waiting to see the outcome of a play before calling a penalty;
this is done so as not to penalize the non-offending team by
stopping its momentum; a penalty that is delayed, and then not
called, is waved off and play continues uninterrupted; also a
penalty against the team that has only 4 players on the ice,
which is assessed only when one of its players gets out of the
delay of game:
a minor penalty imposed on any player who purposely delays the
game in any way, such as shooting or batting the puck outside
the playing area or displacing the goalpost from its normal
a type of minor penalty given for certain accidental
infractions that result in an injury to another player;
penalty time of 4 minutes is served, double the time of a
normal minor penalty.
when a player simply leaves the puck behind for a teammate
following him to pick up.
the renamed Wales Conference beginning with the 1993-94 season
which contains the Northeast and Atlantic Divisions, formerly
called the Adams and Patrick Divisions.
a minor penalty which occurs when a player strikes his
opponent with an elbow to impede his progress.
a goal scored against a team that has pulled the goalie.
the boards at each end of the rink.
also called the policeman; is usually the most penalized
player on a team; he has the job of protecting his teammates
from harm; generally a larger player who is not afraid of any
a game not included in the regular-season schedule and which
does not count in the standings; the All-Star Game or other
games generally played before the season begins.
the addition of teams to the NHL.
a special arrangement to assist new franchises in obtaining
players, where expansion teams choose players from other
a team that has been recently added to the NHL.
the protective mask worn by the goalie.
the method of starting play; the dropping of the puck by the
official between the sticks of two opposing players standing
one stick length apart with stick blades flat on the ice; used
to begin each period or to resume play when it has stopped for
face-off circles and spots:
the various circular spots on the ice where an official and
two players will hold a face-off to begin or to resume the
action of the game; there are one blue and four red face-off
circles located in the neutral zone; two red face-off circles
are found at each end of the ice.
falling on the puck:
a minor penalty, which occurs when a player other than the
goalie closes his hand on the puck, deliberately falls on the
puck, or gathers the puck under his body while lying on the
passing the puck.
a major penalty which occurs when two or more players drop
their sticks and gloves and fight; if a referee deems one
player to be the instigator, that player gets a game
misconduct; the minor penalty for a less severe pushing and
shoving fight is called roughing.
when a player passes the puck to a teammate along the surface
of the ice.
a pass by a player to a teammate that lifts the puck from the
ice and sends it through the air, usually for the purpose of
getting it over an opponent's stick.
a shot in which a player cups the puck in his stick, then
flips it with his wrists up off the ice towards the goal; this
sometimes makes the puck harder to block.
to check or harass an opponent who has the puck in his
defensive zone and keep the opponents in their end of the rink
while trying to regain control of the puck; usually done by
a shot or pass taken from the right side of a right-handed
player or from the left side of a left-handed player.
forward line or attacking line:
consists of two wings (right and left) and a center; these
three players play nearer the opponent's goal and are
responsible for most of the scoring.
the three players who make up the attacking line or forward
line of a team - the center and the right and left wings.
any infraction of the rules that will draw a penalty.
a team; the legal arrangement that establishes ownership of a
freeze the puck:
to hold the puck against the boards with the skate or stick in
order to stop play briefly or gain a face-off.
when a team has its full complement of 6 players on the ice.
to move fast and thereby get a good start on the opponents.
provides one point; scored when a puck goes between the
goalposts from the stick of an attacking player and entirely
crosses the red line between the goalposts; also the informal
term used to refer to the area made of the goalposts and the
net guarded by the goalie and into which a puck must enter to
score a point.
a 6 foot wide by 4 foot high tubular steel frame consisting of
a cross bar and two goalposts to which a net is attached.
a semi-circular area with a 6 foot radius in front of the
opening of the goal; denotes the playing area of the
goaltender into which no player without the puck may enter.
the two-inch red line between the goalposts that stretches in
both directions to the sideboards
goalkeeper, goalie or goaltender:
the heavily padded player who guards the goal; prevents
opponents from scoring by stopping the puck any way he can.
the metal bars that frame the area to which the net is
attached which rests on the center of the goal line and
between which a puck must pass to score a goal.
three or more goals scored by a player in one game.
when a player drops his head as though moving one way and
quickly moves in another to fake out the opponent.
a minor penalty which occurs when a player checks an opponent
by carrying his stick above the normal height of his
opponent's waist and hits, or menaces the opponent with it; if
injury is caused it becomes a major penalty; if a referee
determines that the raising of the stick was unintentional and
no contact occurred, the penalty is only against the team and
results in a face-off.
a minor penalty which occurs when a player grabs and holds
onto an opponent (or his stick) with his hands or arms to
impede the opponent's progress.
holding the puck:
See falling on the puck.
the team in whose arena the game is being played; the team
wearing the lighter uniforms.
a sweep of the stick low to the ice to take the puck from an
a minor penalty which occurs when a player attempts to impede
the progress of another player by hooking any part of the
opponent's body with the blade of his stick; an illegal use of
a violation which occurs when the team in possession of the
puck shoots it from behind the red center line across the
opponent's goal line into the end of the rink (but not into
the goal) and a member of the opposing team touches it first;
results in a face-off in the offender's defensive zone; a
shorthanded team cannot be called for icing.
a penalty in hockey called when a player attempts to impede
the motion of another player not in possession of the puck.
a fifteen-minute recess between each of the three periods of a
a minor penalty which occurs when a player uses a knee to hit
his opponent in the leg, thigh or lower body.
a pass sent ahead of a moving teammate designed to meet the
player at the location he is headed.
angle made by the shaft of the stick and the blade.
the entire forward line and/or defensive line will be replaced
at once, which puts players on the ice who work well together.
the two officials on the ice, one toward each end of the rink,
responsible for infractions of the rules concerning off-side
plays at the blue lines or center line and for any icing
violations; they conduct most of the face-offs, sometimes
advise the referee concerning penalties, and separate players
who are fighting; they wear black pants and an official league
sweater, and are on skates.
a type of individual penalty called for more serious
infractions of the rules; of 5 minutes in duration whether or
not the non-penalized team scores.
a pairing of players on opposing teams who will cover each
other during the hockey game.
a type of penalty lasting 2 minutes; if the non-penalized team
scores a power play goal during this time, the penalty ends
National Hockey League, started November 22, 1917; currently
contains 26 teams.
the goal; netting attached to the goalposts and frame of the
goal to trap the puck when a goal is scored.
the area between the blue lines.
with the Smythe Division made up the Campbell Conference until
the 1992-93 season; renamed the Central Division of the
Western Conference starting with the 1993-94 season.
See two-line pass.
a violation which occurs when both skates of an attacking
player cross the opponent's blue line preceding the puck into
the attacking zone or when a pass crosses more than one line
without being touched (two-line pass); this is one of the most
common calls made in a hockey game.
one referee and two linesmen on the ice calling infractions
and handing out penalties; up to five off-ice officials
including two goal judges, the game timekeeper, the penalty
timekeeper and the official scorer.
making player changes or substitutions while play is under
when an NHL team plays games away from its home arena.
that part of the ice that is free of opponents.
an additional period of play used to break a tie; see
when one player uses his stick to send the puck to a teammate.
a pass by an attacking player from behind his opponent's net
or goal line to a teammate in front of the net.
with the Adams Division made up the Wales Conference until the
1992-93 season; renamed the Atlantic Division of the Eastern
Conference starting with the 1993-94 season.
punishment of a player for a violation of the rules, resulting
in suspension from the game for a period of time; 6 types
exist: minor, bench, major, misconduct, match and goalkeeper's
an area with a bench just off the ice, behind the sideboards
outside the playing area where penalized players serve their
a player expert at backchecking and keeping or gaining control
of a loose puck under difficult circumstances who is trained
to break up a power play when his team is shorthanded.
a free shot awarded a player who was illegally interfered
with, preventing him from a clear scoring opportunity; the
shot is taken with only the goalie guarding against it.
three 20-minute playing intervals separated by two
the left and right positions taken by the defensemen of the
attacking team, just inside the blue line of the attacking
zone; also the term used to describe the defensemen playing at
this location; also an individual statistic for players equal
to their goals plus assists; also a team statistic used to
determine team standings (2 points for each win and 1 point
for each tie during the regular season).
a quick jab or thrust to the puck or opponent's stick to knock
the puck away from him.
an attack by a team at full strength against a team playing
one man (or two men) shorthanded because of a penalty (or
penalties) which resulted in a player on the opposing team
receiving penalty-box time.
a black, vulcanized rubber disc, 1-inch thick and 3-inches in
diameter, weighing between 5 1/2 and 6 ounces used to play
hockey; they are frozen to prevent excessive bouncing and
changed throughout the game; can travel up to 120 miles per
hour on a slap shot.
pulling the goalie:
taking the goalkeeper off the ice and replacing him with a
forward; leaves the goal unguarded so is only used as a last
minute attempt to score.
retaining the puck by clever stickhandling; often used by a
shorthanded team to kill time.
a puck that bounces off the goalie's body or equipment.
the line that divides the length of the ice surface in half.
the chief official in a hockey game, distinguished from the
other officials by a red armband; he starts the game, calls
most of the penalties and makes the final decision in any
dispute; he is responsible for making sure the ice, the nets
and the clock are in good condition; he wears black pants and
an official league sweater; he is also on skates.
a semi-circular area, with a 10 foot radius, marked in red on
the ice in front of the timekeepers' bench into which players
may not follow a referee.
the iced area inside the boards on which the game of hockey is
played; it is 200 feet long by 85 feet wide with rounded
used by professional ice hockey skaters; the gentle curve in a
very sharp blade of an ice skate produced by rounding the toe
and heel of the blade to make it easier for hockey players to
a list of the players on a team.
a minor penalty which occurs when a fight between players is
more of a pushing and shoving match; a less severe penalty
an individual or combined attack by a team in possession of
the act of a goalie in blocking or stopping a shot.
several players from both sides close together battling for
possession of the puck.
a shot on goal that the goalie cannot see because it was taken
from behind one or more players from either team standing in
front of the net.
the angle determined by the position of the shooting player in
relation to the goal at the moment he shoots the puck.
a team with one or more players off the ice in the penalty box
when the opponent has its full complement of 6 players; also a
power play for the other team.
on goal (SOG):
a scoring attempt that is successfully blocked or otherwise
prevented by a goalie; a save.
a quick move of the shoulder in one direction and the player
in another to fake out the opponent.
the boards along the sides of the rink.
a shot in which the player raises his stick in a backswing,
with his strong hand held low on the shaft and his other hand
on the end as a pivot. Then as the stick comes down toward the
puck, the player leans into the stick to put all his power
behind the shot and add velocity to the puck; achieves an
extremely high speed (up to 120 miles per hour) but is less
accurate than a wrist shot.
a minor penalty which occurs when a player swings his stick
from below the player's shoulder at an opponent to impede his
motion, whether or not contact is made; if injury is caused it
becomes a major penalty and a game misconduct.
an attacking player who slips into the center or neutral zone
behind the attacking defensemen; same as a floater or a
when an official waits to blow his whistle because of a
delayed offside or delayed penalty call.
with the Norris Division made up the Campbell Conference until
the 1992-93 season; renamed the Pacific Division of the
Western Conference starting with the 1993-94 season.
a rush by a player without assistance from a teammate.
a major penalty which occurs when a player illegally jabs, or
even just attempts to jab, the point of his stick blade into
another player's body; one of the most serious infractions a
player can commit; results in an automatic game misconduct.
when a player's stick is moved as though for a shot, but
instead the player moves the puck past the defending player;
done to fake out the opponent.
moving the puck along the ice with the stick blade.
occurs when a player comes off the bench to replace a player
coming out of the game; can be made at any time and play does
not need to stop.
an overtime period that ends as soon as one team scores a
goal, determining the winner and terminating the game.
a check made by a player with one hand on the stick, and one
knee so low it is practically on the ice, with the shaft and
blade of the stick flat on the ice to take the puck away from
the third man in a fight gets a game misconduct penalty and is
out of the game for its duration; created to discourage
players from jumping into a fight, even if they are only
trying to break it up.
a type of break with three attackers coming in on one
defenseman; this is a desperate situation.
a type of break with three attacking players skating against
two defensive players.
a player who follows his teammate on the attack seemingly out
of the action but actually in a position to receive a backward
or drop pass.
a minor penalty which occurs when a player places his stick or
a part of his body under or around the feet or legs of an
opponent causing him to lose his balance; will also be called
if a player kicks an opponent's skates out from under him, or
uses a knee or leg to cause his opponent to fall.
a team violation occurring when a puck is passed across two or
more lines without being touched; play is stopped for a
face-off; a type of offsides.
a type of break with two attacking players skating against one
a type of break with two attacking players skating against two
a pass behind or to one side of a teammate, making it
difficult for him to control the puck.
a large rectangular pad attached to the front of the goalie's
was one of the two confrences in the NHL consisting of the
Patrick and Adams Divisions until the 1992-93 season. The
other conference was Campbell Conference. These were renamed
the Eastern and Western Conferences respectively, starting
with 1993-94 season.
a goal that is ruled invalid by the referee or the waving off
of an infraction by the linesmen.
the renamed Cambell Conference beginning with the 1993-94
season which contains the Central and Pacific Divisions
(formerly the Norris and Smythe Divisions respectively).
two players who flank the center on his right and left sides
and, with him, make up the attacking unit or forward line.
a shot made using a strong flicking of the wrist and forearm
muscles, with the stick blade kept on the ice; it is slower
but more accurate than a slap shot.
the brand of machine used to clean the ice.
three areas made up by the two blue lines; the attacking zone
is the area farthest from the goal a player is defending; the
neutral zone is the central area; the defending zone is the
area where a player's goal is (the goal where his team's
goalie is stationed)