Hockey Lingo And Terminology

Ice Hockey Lingo and Terminology

In hockey, players have their own unique lingo and terminology. An ordinary individual would not understand a lot of a hockey player's language, but fellow hockey players will be on board. Here is a list of hockey lingo and terminology.


Hockey Lingo/Slang

Apple: An apple is an alternate term for assist, mostly used by players.

Bar Down: Bar down is what happens when a goal is scored by the puck ricocheting off the bottom of the crossbar and into the net.

Barn: A team's rink or home arena.

Bender: A slang term for a player whose ankles bend while they skate. Players often use this as an insult to someone who is not good at hockey.

Biscuit: A term for the puck since its flat appearance slightly resembles a biscuit.

Bucket: Another name for the helmet worn by players.

Celly: A celebration after a goal is scored.

Chirp: Trash talk between players and their opponents.

Flow (Lettuce): Flow is a word for exceptional hair on a hockey player that can be seen even while the player is wearing a helmet. Another word for flow is lettuce.

Gino: A goal

Twig: A term for the hockey stick.

Hockey Terms For Kids

ice hockey on offense

Offense: The team with possession of the puck trying to score on their opponents.

Defense: The defensive team in hockey is the team without possession of the puck, trying to defend against a goal by the opposing team.

Forward: Forwards are the primary offensive players in hockey. The three forward positions are center, left wing, and right wing.

Defenseman: A defenseman in hockey is a player position either referring to the left defenseman or right defenseman. They are responsible for helping the goalie defend incoming shots on goal and taking the puck away from the other team.

ice hockey goalie

Goalie: A goalie, or goaltender, is a player position in ice hockey responsible for blocking and controlling shots taken by the other team. The goalie is distinguishable by his special protective equipment and can be found inside or around his blue goal crease.

Goal: A goal in hockey is what happens when the puck crosses the imaginary plane of the goal line between the posts. The team that scores more goals in a game is declared the winner. A goal can also refer to the physical equipment of the goal cage, net, crossbar, and goal posts put together.

Assist: An assist is a statistic in hockey given to the player who passes the puck to the goal scorer.

Hockey Terms For Fans

Offside: Offside in hockey happens when the puck enters the attacking zone when there are players of the same team already in that zone. There are various types of offsides, including delayed offside and intentional offside. An offside call will not result in a power play. A face-off is used to put the puck back in play after offside is called.

Icing: Icing in hockey is a type of infraction designed to prevent players from dumping the puck across the ice. A linesman will call this penalty when the puck travels from behind the center red line past the goal line on the opposite end of the ice without a player from the opposing team touching it. Icing does not result in a power play.

Check: Checking in hockey is the act of a player making contact with another player on the opposing team with the intent of gaining possession of the puck. It results in a penalty if the player performs an illegal check, such as cross-checking, a check from behind, a check to the head, or a check to a player who doesn’t have the puck.

Overtime: Overtime is an extra period of play after regulation used to determine the winning team if the score is tied. The first team to score during overtime wins the game. The rules differ for NHL regular season games and NHL postseason games. During the regular season, there is one overtime which lasts five minutes. If nobody scores, the game goes to a shootout. During the playoffs, overtime periods last 20 minutes and continue until somebody scores.

Official: An official in hockey is a person responsible for spotting any rule violations and enforcing the appropriate penalties in ice hockey. On-ice officials are either referees or linesmen.

ice hockey referee

Referee: A referee in hockey is the main official in a hockey game responsible for determining goals, assessing penalties, recording statistics, and interpreting the rules of the game. There are two referees in an NHL game and one in youth games.

Linesman: A linesman in hockey is the official in a hockey game responsible for monitoring offsides and icing violations. There are two linesmen in an NHL game, and one in youth games.

Penalty: A penalty in hockey is an infringement of the rules of ice hockey. An official will blow his whistle to signal a stoppage of play. Players will be required to leave the ice and enter the penalty box for a certain amount of time as a consequence. This results in a power play. A face-off is used to put the puck back in play after a penalty is called.

Hockey Terms For Coaches

Forecheck: A forecheck in hockey is an offensive strategy to aggressively pursue possession of the puck.

Backcheck: A backcheck in hockey is the defensive response to the attacking team’s attempt to score. Backchecking is most commonly seen when defenders are hurrying back to their own zone to try to break up an odd-man rush.  

Line change: A line change in hockey is when one or more players on the ice go to the bench to be replaced by substitutes. Coaches decide which substitutes go next.

ice hockey pulling the goalie

Pulling the Goalie: A strategy where the goalie is pulled off the ice late in the game and replaced with an extra skater. This is done when teams are in desperation for a goal and time is running out.