Get To Know The Game You Love
Hockey’s Main Rules
Offside – A team is offside when any member of the attacking team precedes the puck over the defending team’s blue line. If the player returns to the blue line and “tags up” before they touch the puck, the offside is waved off. When offside is whistled, the ensuing faceoff takes place outside the attacking zone of the offending team. If the player intentionally touches the puck prior to “tagging up,” the faceoff is brought down to the offending team’s defensive zone.
Icing – Shooting the puck untouched from beyond the center ice red line past the opponent’s goal line. The instant the puck completely crosses the goal line, the play is whistled and icing is called. The ensuing faceoff will then take place in the defensive zone of the team that iced the puck. There are several instances when icing can be waived off by the referee:
• When a team is a man down because of a penalty (on a penalty kill)
• When the referee decides that the opposing team could have played the puck
• When the puck goes through the crease or the opposing goalie touches it.
Safety Warning: Pucks can be propelled into the spectator areas any time during warm-up, while play is in progress or after the stoppage of play. To help avoid injury, stay alert whenever you are in the stands. If you are injured, ask the nearest usher for assistance.
Back check -to hinder an opponent heading into the defending zone.
Blue lines – one-foot thick blue lines which extend across the ice at a distance of 64 feet from each goal.
Body checking – when you use your body on an opponent. It is illegal when the opponent has the puck or was the last player to have touched it.
Butt-ending – to hit the opponent with the end of the stick farthest from the blade. It is illegal, and players are given penalties.
Crease – the area directly in front of the goalie. It is four feet wide and eight feet long, marked by red lines.
Deke – to fake the opponent out of position.
Face off – the dropping of the puck between one player from each team to start a game and resume play.
Forecheck – to check an opponent in his end of the rink, preventing an offensive rush.
Freezing the puck – when the puck is held against the boards with a stick or skate to get a stoppage of play.
Goal line – the red line that runs between the goal posts and extends in both directions.
Gordie Howe hat trick – getting a goal, assist and fight in one game.
Hat trick – when a player scores three goals in one game.
One-timer – hitting the puck directly after receiving a pass. The offensive player takes his backswing while the puck is on its way to him and tried to time his swing with the arrival of the puck.
Penalty box – the place a player serves his penalty time and is across the ice from the team benches.
Pipe – goalpost.
Power play – this occurs when a team has a one- or two-man advantage because of penalties.
Pulling the goalie – when the goalie is replaced with an extra skater. This occurs when a team trails, usually by one goal in the last minute of the game. It is a high-risk attempt to tie to the game.
Screened shot – when a goaltender’s view is blocked by players.
Slap shot – hitting the puck with the blade of the stick after taking a full backswing.
Wraparound – used to describe a skater behind the goal.
Top shelf – when an offensive player shoots high in the top part of the net.
Puck – made of vulcanized rubber. It is three inches in diameter, one inch thick and weighs six ounces. It’s frozen to make it bounce resistant. Pucks travel from 90 to 100 mph, yet some players can launch it faster.
Ice thickness – the ice is approximately ¾” thick and is 16 degrees Fahrenheit
Hockey Stats Made Easy
GP – Games Played
G – Goals
A – Assists
PTS – Points
+/- – Plus-minus – A player receives a “plus” if he is on the ice when his team scores an even-strength or shorthanded goal. He receives a “minus” if he is on the ice for an even-strength or shorthanded goal scored by the opposing team. The difference in these numbers is considered the player’s plus-minus statistic.
PIM – Penalty minutes
PPG – Power play goals. A power play goal is a goal that is scored when a team has a one- or two-man advantage over the opposition due to penalties.
SHG – Short-handed goals. A short-handed goal is a goal that is scored when a team is at a one- or two-man disadvantage due to penalties.
GWG – Game-winning goals. After the final score has been determined, the goal which leaves the winning tema one goal ahead of its opponent is the game-winning goal. Ex. If Team A beats Team B 6-3, the player scoring the fourth goal for Team A receives credit for the game-winning goal. Goals scored during a shootout are not credited as game-winning goals.
S – Shots
PK PCT or PK % – Penalty-kill percentage. Penalty-kill percentage is the number of shorthanded situations that resulted in no goals out of the total number of shorthanded situations. To calculate, subtract total number of power play goals allowed from total number of shorthanded situations to get total number of power plays killed. Divide total number of power plays killed by total number of shorthanded situations. Ex. If Team A had 12 shorthanded situations and gave up 2 goals, then their penalty kill percentage is 83.33% (12 – 2 = 10. 10 / 12 = 83.33%). The result suggests that the team will kill off 83 short-handed situations out of every 100.
PP PCT or PP % – Power-play percentage. Power-play percentage is the number of one- or two-man advantages that a team scores with out of the total number of extra-man advantages . To calculate, take the total number of power play goals divided by total number of power play opportunities. Ex. If a team has 16 power play opportunities and scores four times with the extra-man advantage, then the team’s power play percentage is 25% (4 / 16 = 25%). The result suggests that the team will score 25 times out of 100 extra-man opportunities.
W – Wins
L – Losses
GA – Goals against. Goals allowed during a shootout are not counted in a goalie’s goals against total.
SA – Shots against
GAA – Goals-against average. Goals-against average is the number of goals allowed per full game played, rounded to two decimal points. To calculate, multiply total number of goals allowed by 60, and divide that figure by minutes played. Ex. If a goalie allows four goals in 180 minutes, the GAA is 1.33 (4 x 60 = 240. 240 / 180 = 1.33). The result suggests that for every full game you play, you will allow 1.33 goals.
SVS – Saves
SV PCT or SV % – Save percentage. Save percentage is the number of saves made divided by the total number of shots on goal, expressed in three decimal places. Ex. If a goalie has faced 45 shots and allowed five goals, the save percentage is .888 (40/45=.888). The number suggests that if the goalie were to face 1,000 shots, he would stop 888 of them.
SO – Shutouts. A goalie has no goals scored against him in a game. If two goaltenders combine for a shutout, neither receives credit for the shutout. Instead, it is recorded as a team shutout.
What is the puck made of?
The puck is made of vulcanized rubber. It is three inches in diameter, one inch thick and weighs six ounces. It is frozen before entering play to make it bounce resistant.
How fast does the puck travel?
Many players have been known to unleash shots between 80 and 90 mph, while the game’s hardest shooters have reached as high as 110 mph.
Can a puck be kicked or batted into the net for a goal?
A puck can deflect in off of a skate, leg, hand or arm for a goal only if the motion is clearly a deflection, either accidental or intentional. The goal is disallowed if there is any kicking, batting or throwing motion.
Frequently a goalie ventures far out in front of the net. Doesn’t this leave a greater target for the opposition to shoot at?
Usually when a goalie comes out in front, it is to reduce the shooting area, cut down the angle of the shooter or force the attacker to unleash his shot sooner or wider than he wants. Goalies are only allowed to play the puck behind the net in the designated box area.
How are the markings (lines, circles, goal crease, etc.) applied to the ice?
The ice is built up to a half-inch thickness by spraying water over the concrete floor, which has freezing pipes imbedded. The markings are then painted on, after which additional water is sprayed to coat the marking and build the ice to a prescribed thickness.
How thick is the ice?
Ice for professional hockey is approximately ¾” thick and is usually held at 16 degrees. The thicker the sheet ice becomes, the softer and slower it is.
What are hockey sticks made of?
Hockey sticks are usually made of aluminum or graphite. Most models are made of two pieces – the shaft (handle) and the blade – that are held together using a heat-sensitive glue. Many sticks now are called composites, which are a mix of materials and are one piece.
What are the standard dimensions of the rink?
The North American standard is 200’ by 85’, although some do vary. Most European rinks are as much as 30’ longer and 15’ wider.