Hockey Terms A-E

Hockey Jargon, Hockey Terminology & Hockey Sayings

Hockey Terms A-E

The presents our glossary of hockey terms.  From A to Z, find your favorite hockey terms here.


5 hole – area between the goalie’s legs


Apple – an assist
Attacking zone – when the team controlling the puck has possession in the offensive zone


Backhand – A pass or shot that is taken from the backside of the blade.

Backchecking – Rushing back to the defensive zone in response to an opposing team’s attack and checking the player you are responsible for in an attempt to regain control of the puck.

Barn Burner – a good old fashioned entertaining hockey game where both teams engage in back and forth action.

Bench Minor – A minor penalty given to a team and usually meant for an infraction by the coach, such as having too many players on the ice at one time.
Biscuit – puck
Blocker – The rectangular pad that a goaltender wears on the hand used to hold their goalie stick
Blowing a tire – a player losing his edge and falling to the ice
Blue line – the lines separating the attacking/defending zones from the neutral zone.
Blueliner – defenceman
Bread basket – goalie’s stomach area or the logo area of a jersey
Boarding – hitting a player into the boards with close proximity. Usually resulting in a minor penalty.

Boards – the outer perimeter of the playing surface.
Body checking – using the hip or body to hit an opponent.
Bonnet – helmet
Breakaway – exciting part of the game when a player has possession of the puck and there are no defenders other than the goalie between him and the opposing goal.
Bucket – helmet
Butterfly – common style of goaltending where goalie’s pads are on ice and chest and shoulders are kept high to cover the majority of the net.  When performed properly the move resembles a butterfly.
Butt-ending – the act of thrusting the knob or butt end of a stick into an opponent. Considered a dirty play which often results in a major penalty


Cage – Metal grid that attaches to the front of a helmet to protect the face; occasionally also refers to the goal.
Can-opener – maneuver whereby a player places their stick between an opponent’s legs and turns his body.

Catcher or Catching glove – The webbed glove that the goaltender wears on the hand opposite the stick. (Also known as the trapper.)

Centre (or Center) – A forward position whose primary zone of play is the middle of the ice.  The Center is responsible for taking faceoffs.  Notable centers include Mark Messier, Wayne Gretzky, Joe Sakic and Steve Yzerman.

Change on the fly – Substituting a player from the bench during live play, i.e. not at a faceoff.  Also known as “switch on the fly”.

Charging – The act of skating towards an opponent and hitting them usually as a result of speed and space/distance traveled.  Often referred to as “running an opponent”.

Cherry Picker – player who only remains in the offensive zone without a desire to help out defensively; also referred to as floating.
Cherry picking – when a player stays near their opponent’s defensive zone waiting for an outlet pass in order to receive a breakaway or odd-man rush.  The art of cherry-picking is less common these days as players are taught to be more responsible in their own end.
Chicklets – teeth
Chippy – A player or game that is very rough resulting in a number of stoppages in play.
(the) China Wall – nickname given to hall of fame goaltender Johnny Bower.
Coach – The person who trains and prepares the team, and makes the player selections for each game.  The coach guides the team and leads the team in practice and preparation.
Coast to coast – act where a player rushes the puck up the ice from one end to the other
Coincidental penalties – penalties that occur at the same time when both teams are assessed an equal amount of penalties. These types of penalties usually happen on the same play or incident.

Crashing the net – the act where players head towards the net with strong momentum resulting in gaining a presence into the goalie’s crease space and/or straight into the goalie. Also known as crashing the crease.

Crease – See goal crease or referee’s crease

Cross-checking – The act of checking an opponent with the shaft of the stick held in both hands often with a forward pushing motion.
Cue – hockey stick or a tap on the shoulder from a coach to a certain player to hop on the ice and do their thing.


Dance – aka playing in a championship game or series.  Or a hockey fight between two well known “tough guys”.
Dangle – the ability to control the puck while skating at a brisk speed.
Defensive zone – The defending team’s zone; extends from the blue line to the end boards.

Deke – the act of cradling the puck whereby a player handles the puck or moves themselves in a manner that makes it difficult for the opponent to defend against forcing the defender into moving out of position, allowing the “deking” player to get past.

Delay of game – Deliberately causing a stoppage of play; player is penalized with a minor penalty.

Delayed offside – the act whereby if a player enters the attacking zone ahead of the puck but does not touch it.  The play is offside but no whistle is blown immediately, thus creating a delayed offside. When all players from the offside team leave the opposing teams defensive zone and goes into the neutral zone the linesman cancels the offside infraction. Should the offending team touche the puck before leaving their offensive zone the whistle is blown for the offside infraction.

Delayed penalty – When an infraction occurs, the referee will raise his or her arm to indicate that a penalty is being called, waiting until the team who committed the infraction gains control of the puck.  The whistle is not blown until a player from the offending team controls the puck.
Dish – pass
Dipsy doodle – dangling with the puck while skating at a quick pace.
Diving – The act of a player embellishing contact made against him in order to entice the referee into calling a penalty against the opposition.  Blatant diving now often ends up in a “unsportsmanlike conduct” penalty being called against the embellishing player.

Drop pass – When a player passes the puck behind (drops the puck) himself to a teammate.

Dump and chase – An offensive strategy used to get the puck over the opposing team’s blue line and into the corners where players can race to get it, thereby moving the play into the attacking zone.


Elbowing – A minor penalty given to a player who strikes an opposing player with their elbow.  Numerous players have had their own patented elbow, but Mark Messier was known to throw his share of elbows, often as an intimidation measure.
Empty-Net Goal – scoring on a vacated net, or to score on a team who has pulled its goalie.
End Boards – The boards at either end of the rink behind the two nets.
Energy Line – a trio of forwards who can get the crowd excited with big plays or big checks.
Even Strength – When both teams have the same number of players on the ice.
Extra Attacker – The player who is sent on the ice in place of his team’s goalie, who has been pulled.

Hockey Terms F-J

Hockey Terms K-O

Hockey Terms P-T

Hockey Terms U-Z