Hockey Glossary: A-G

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Adams Division:

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.

All-Star Game:

a mid-season exhibition game pitting selected stars of North American origin against selected stars from the rest of the world; from 1969 to 1997, the game was played between representatives from the NHL's two conferences.

assist:

the pass or passes which immediately precede a successful scoring attempt; a maximum of two assists are credited for one goal.

attacking zone:

the area between the opponents' blue line and their goal.

backcheck:

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.

backhand shot:

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 player.

beat the defense:

to get by one or both of the defensemen.

beat the goalie:

to outwit the goalie and score a goal.

behind the net:

the area of ice behind the goal cage is legal territory.

blind pass:

to pass the puck without looking.

blue lines:

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 or fiberglass 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.

body check:

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.

break:

a chance to start a rush when the opposing forwards are caught out of position.

breakaway:

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.

breaking pass:

a pass to a teammate who is trying for a breakaway.

butt-ending:

a major penalty which occurs when a player jabs an opponent with the shaft of his hockey stick.

Campbell Conference:

was one of the two conferences in the NHL that contained the Norris and Smythe Divisions until 1992-93; renamed the Western Conference in 1993.

carom:

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.

center ice:

the area between the two blue lines, also called the neutral zone.

centering pass:

a pass from an attacking player towards the middle of the ice to a teammate with a better angle at the goal.

center line:

a red, 12-inch wide line across the ice midway between the two goals.

charging:

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 penalty.

check or checking:

any contact initiated by a defending player against an opponent to get the puck away from him or slow him down; 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 immediately after he gives it up; checking after 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 opponent's attacking zone, all the attacking players must leave or clear the zone to avoid being called offsides when the puck reenters the zone.

cover:

when a player stays close to an opponent to prevent him from receiving a pass or making a play on offense.

crease lines:

the red lines that form the semi-circular area with a 6-foot radius in front of the goal called the goal crease.

cross bar:

the horizontal bar that connects the top of the two goalposts.

cross-checking:

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.

dead puck:

a puck that flies out of the rink or that a player has caught in his hand.

defensemen:

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 other's territory.

defensive line:

consists of two defensemen.

defensive zone:

the zone or area nearest a team's goal (the goal they are defending).

deflection:

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 puck away.

deke or deking:

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:

a penalty against a team that has only 4 players on the ice, assessed only when one of its players gets out of the penalty box.

delayed whistle 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.

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 position.

double minor:

a type of minor penalty given for certain accidental infractions that result in an injury to another player or for certain deliberate attempts to injure an opponent that are unsuccessful; penalty time of 4 minutes is served, double the time of a normal minor penalty.

drop pass:

when a player simply leaves the puck behind for a teammate following him to pick up.

Eastern Conference:

the renamed Wales Conference beginning with the 1993-94 season which contains the Atlantic, Northeast and Southeast Divisions.

elbowing:

a minor penalty which occurs when a player strikes his opponent with an elbow to impede his progress.

empty-net goal:

a goal scored against a team that has pulled the goalie.

endboards:

the boards at each end of the rink.

enforcer:

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 fight.

exhibition game:

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.

expansion:

the addition of teams to the NHL.

expansion draft:

a special arrangement to assist new franchises in obtaining players, where expansion teams choose players from other teams' rosters.

expansion team:

a team that has been recently added to the NHL.

face mask:

the protective mask worn by the goalie.

face-off:

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 other reasons.

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 is one blue face-off circle and four red face-off spots 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 ice.

feeding:

passing the puck.

fighting:

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 also receives a minor penalty and a misconduct penalty; the minor penalty for a less severe pushing and shoving match is called roughing.

flat pass:

when a player passes the puck to a teammate along the surface of the ice.

flip pass:

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.

flip shot:

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.

forecheck:

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 the forwards.

forehand:

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.

forwards:

the three players who make up the attacking line or forward line of a team -- the center and the right and left wings.

foul:

any infraction of the rules that will draw a penalty.

franchise:

a team; the legal arrangement that establishes ownership of a team.

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.

full strength:

when a team has its full complement of 6 players on the ice.

get the jump:

to move fast and thereby get a good start on the opponents.

goal:

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.

goal cage:

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.

goal crease:

a semi-circular area with a 6 foot radius in front of the opening of the goal; denotes the playing area of the goaltender within which attacking players must not obstruct his movement or vision.

goal line:

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.

goalposts:

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.

Hockey Glossary Terms provided by FirstBaseSports

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