The language of hockey is ever-evolving, ever-changing, and always lots of fun. Some terms are self-explanatory, while others can be real head scratchers. Below is a smattering of words you might hear when attending a game, listening to an announcer call the game, or hanging out with players.
This isn’t a comprehensive list by any measure, but it’s a start.
Send along your favorite hockey isms, idioms, and terms, then check back to see how the list grows.
Barn: Arena, rink
Barn burner: A game where the score is very lopsided. Can also mean an intense, fast-paced, exciting game from start to finish
Beaut: A well-executed goal, typical done with finesse and precision
Biscuit: The puck; to “put the biscuit in the basket” means to score a goal
Chiclets: Teeth, as in, “He took a stick to the mouth and lost some chiclets”
Chirp: To trash talk at someone, typically an opponent
D-man: A defenseman
Dirty places: Usually refers to spots along the boards where a player fights one or more opponents to gain control of the puck. Also refers to the spot in front of the goal where an opposing player stands, looking to tip in or redirect a puck into the net, or score on a rebound; the player typically takes abuse from defenders, including the goalie
Facewash: When one player rubs an opponent’s face with the palm side of his glove
Flow: Long hair on a hockey player; typically long enough to “flow” out of his helmet
Gassed: Out of breath, tired.
Gordie Howe hat trick: When a player has a goal, an assist, and a fight in the same game
Hat trick: When a player scores three goals in a game. If the goals are scored in a row, it’s a “natural hat trick”
Jumbotron: Huge video display that hangs above the arena
Light the lamp: Score a goal (because a red lamp behind the net lights up when a player scores)
Lumber: A hockey stick
Mitts: Gloves or hands
One-timer: When a player immediately hits a puck that’s been passed to him
Playmaker: A skilled player who sets up his teammates to score goals. A playmaker usually has a high number of assists compared to the number of goals he’s scored
Puck bunny: A woman who specifically targets hockey players in order to spend time with them; she may or may not have hockey knowledge; hockey’s equivalent of a groupie
Red line: The center red line that divides the rink in half
Saucer pass: When a puck is passed from one player to another in such a manner that it travels above the surface of the ice (reminiscent of a flying saucer)
Slap shot: A shot made when a player pulls his stick back and swings through, “slapping” the puck. This is a powerful, hard shot that’s typically made at a distance from the goal
Top shelf goal: A goal that’s scored in the upper portion of a hockey net