Top 100 Favorite Hockey Terms

Hockey Terms 2016Every industry has their own jargon or buzzwords that they regularly use.  The hockey world is no different.  Each year at the Hockey Fanatic we bring your some of our favorite hockey buzzwords.  These hockey terms are more than just nic-names or quips that you may hear in the dressing room, but simply put, these are some of our favorite hockey terms that, as a hockey fan, we think are pretty cool or at times comical.

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Top 100 Hockey Buzzwords – 2016 Edition

Here is a look at some of our favorite hockey buzzwords for 2016.  While we will not be defining all of the terms herein, we will add commentary where necessary.  With that here is a look at the top 100 hockey buzzwords for 2016.

  1. Celly – short for celebration.  This is what players do typically after they score a goal.  My six year old son Elias is big on cellies, and it’s fun to watch players celebrate the more enjoyable moments of the game of hockey.
  2. Apple -another name for an assist
  3. Deke: the act of stickhandling with the puck where you shift from side to side in order to fake an opponent out of position.
  4. Gordie Howe Hattrick– the act of scoring a goal, getting an assist and getting into a fight all in a single game.
  5. Barn Burner – a game that is exciting to watch.
  6. Chirp – trash talk, directed toward an opponent, their bench or the refs.
  7. Biscuit – another name for the puck
  8. Snipe – the act of taking a well placed shot that results in a goal.
  9. Barn – the name of an arena, typically reserved for older arenas
  10. Salad – another term for hair or hockey hair.  “Nice salad”
  11. Chiclets –  the hockey term for teeth, usually used when describing the lack thereof for certain players.  Reference is to the old Chicklets Gum that were white squares and kind of resembled a human tooth.
  12. Top Shelf – Term used to describe when an offensive player shoots high in an attempt to beat the goaltender by putting the puck in the top part of the net. Or as Sabres’ announcer Rick Jeanneret says, ” … the top shelf, where momma hides the cookies.”
  13. Toe drag – Dragging the puck along the ice with the end (toe) of the stick blade on the ice as opposed to pushing with the bottom edge.
  14. Pylon – a player that is extremely slow out on the ice, and can easily be skated around. Typically a lanky defensemen.  Dana Murzyn anyone?
  15. Sin-Bin – another name for the penalty box
  16. Twig – A player’s stick.
  17. Blueliner – A defenseman.
  18. Coast-to-coast – A solo scoring chance originating in the player’s own defensive zone.
  19. Cherry-picking – When a player stays near their opponent’s zone waiting for an outlet pass in order to receive a breakaway.
  20. Howitzer – A very fast slap shot.
  21. Stack the pads – A save wherein the goaltender drops to one side and makes the save with his leg pads.
  22. Head manning the puck –  Passing to a teammate moving up the ice ahead of the player making the pass
  23. Sieve – a goaltender who is not very good at saving the puck and allows a lot of goals because of being “pourous” or “full of holes”.  Don Cherry used to call Colorado Rockies goalie Hardy Astrom the Swedish Sieve.
  24. Gongshow – has multiple meanings:
    1. a player or coach or hockey fan that us completely out of control.
    2. used to describe the craziness that ensues when hockey players drink/party/go to the bar.
    3. a game that gets completely out of hand with multiple fights, lots of penalties, and lots goals.
  25. Back Chek: To hinder an opponent heading toward and into the defending zone.
  26. That’s a beauty – we can thank Don Cherry for this one.  PK Subban (and others) often use this term to describe a great play or in some cases a good fight in a hockey game.
  27. Sauce – the ability to make a saucer (floating-like) pass to a teammate.
  28. Bender – a player that is not highly skilled or lacks hockey skills in general.
  29. Brain Bucket (or just Bucket) – A helmet.
  30. Ride the Pine – when a player spends the entire game sitting in the bench, and not getting any playing time.
  31. Light the lamp – Scoring a goal.
  32. The Show – making it to the National Hockey League (NHL)
  33. Wrap around – To come from behind the net and squeeze it past the goalie.
  34. Dump and Chase – A style of hockey where a team shoots the puck into one of the corners of the offensive zone and then pursues it. This is opposed to carrying the puck into the zone.
  35. Basket – What the biscuit goes into. It’s hockey slang for the net or the goal.
  36. Waffle – The goalie’s blocker. This term stemmed from the visual appearance of the blocker in pre-modern ice hockey equipment era (also refer to waffle-boa
  37. One-timer – Shooting the puck directly after receiving a pass. The offensive player starts his backswing while the puck is on its way to him and tries to time his swing with the arrival of the puck.  Jari Kurri was great at one-timers back in the heyday of the Edmonton Oilers.
  38. The Great One – Wayne Gretzky
  39. Dangle – Misdirecting an opponent while handling the puck. See deke.
  40. Breakaway – When a player has possession of the puck and there are no defenders other than the goalie between him and the opposing goal.
  41. Plumber – a player who gets limited ice time but works very hard and is typically on the third or fourth line.  Similar to “Grinder”
  42. Puck Bunny – females that have an affinity for hockey players, and go out of their way to be with them. Their knowledge of the game can range from non-existent to extensive, but it doesn’t matter to a hockey player.
  43. Splitting the Dee –  when the player with the puck attempts to squeeze between the opponent’s defensemen.
  44. Spin-o-rama – Phrase coined to describe a player completing several tight circles with the puck fully under control of his stick, eluding pursuing opponents who cannot keep up or intercept the player.
  45. Playmaker – A fast player who usually scores more assists than goals. A playmaker has the speed and balance to make plays, and frequently relies on a sniper to finish them.
  46. Winger – A winger is a forward position of a player whose primary zone of play on the ice is along the outer playing area. A right winger is responsible for the right-hand side of the ice and a left winger is responsible for the left-hand side.
  47. Five-hole – The gap between a goaltender’s legs or the hole between the goalie’s leg pads. If a player scores a goal and the puck went in between the goalie’s pads; the puck went through the five-hole.
  48. Hat trick – When one player scores three goals in one game.
  49. Poke-checking – Using the stick to poke the puck away from an opponent.
  50. Zinger – a quick shot that goes past the goalie or a witty reply in trash talk.
  51. Tic-Tac-Toe – Three tape-to-tape passes that lead to a goal. Tic-tac-toe goals are usually scored on odd-man rushes or power plays, because opponents don’t have enough defenders to break up passes.
  52. Power play – A power play occurs when one team has more players on the ice than the other team as a result of penalties assessed to the shorthanded team.
  53. Shorthanded – A team is said to be shorthanded when they have fewer players on the ice than the opposing team as a result of penalties.
  54. Mucker – A physical player who lacks finesse but gets the job done by forechecking, working the boards, etc. He is not afraid to do the dirty work. Usually used interchangeably or in connection with grinder.
  55. The Parros – another name for moustache coined after former NHL player who grew a fairly thick dark black moustache that could give Lanny McDonald a run for his money.
  56. Ice Breaker – another name for a hockey tournament
  57. Stay-at-home defenseman – A defenseman who plays very defensively. He doesn’t skate with the puck toward the offensive zone very often but will look to pass first. Usually the last player to leave his defensive zone.
  58. Mitts – refers to a player’s hands, often described as silky when a player has great skill. Also refers to a player’s gloves, as in “dropping the mitts” in a fight.
  59. Hoser – fans in Canada may remember Bob and Doug McKenzie (hoseheads).  Hoser is another name for a loser, typically intended as an insult in trash talk. Comes from the early hockey days when the losing team had to hose down the ice with water after the game because the Zamboni had not been invented yet.
  60. Tape to tape – a pass that goes from one player’s blade of their stick to another players stick blade
  61. Fishbowl – a helmet with a full plastic shield instead of a cage. Typically used as an insult in trash talk.
  62. Grinder – a player that populates the lower lines or lower pairings. Has hands of stone, but is physical and works hard when he’s out on the ice. Usually beloved by the rest of the team.
  63. Lettuce – another term for hockey hair.  Also referred to as “flow” or “salad”.
  64. Zebra – another name for the officials; referee or linesman
  65. Pigeon – describes a player that isn’t good enough to score goals by himself, so he picks up the trash of his more skilled linemates. Often used as trash talk.
  66. Butterfly – A style of goaltending wherein the goalie tends to cover the lower half of the net with his leg pads.  Mike Palmateer anyone?
  67. Biscuit in the basket – Scoring a goal.
  68. Face wash – When a player rubs his hockey glove over the face of an opponent.
  69. Slap shot – aka slapper. A slap shot is a hard shot, usually with a big wind up, wherein the player bends his stick on the ice and allows the energy stored in bending the stick to launch the puck forward
  70. Ragging the puck – Using up time on the clock when leading in the final moments of a period or the game.
  71. Shinny – Pick-up hockey usually played on a frozen pond.
  72. Natural hat trick – A natural hat-trick is when one player scores three goals in a row without any player from either team scoring in between them, also when three goals are scored by one player in one period.
  73. Change-on-the-fly – Substituting a player from the bench while the puck is in play.
  74. Power forward – A power forward is a large, muscular offensive player (6’0 – 6’5, 210-240 pounds), with the mobility to track a puck to the corners of the rink, the physical toughness required to dig it out, and the puckhandling skills to get it back to anyone in front of the net.
  75. Drop pass – When a player passes the puck directly behind him to a teammate. If executed properly, the puck stops moving and the pass’s receiver catches up to it.
  76. Odd-Man Rush – Usually either a two-on-one, or three-on-two into the offensive zone which more often than not leads to a scoring opportunity.
  77. Short side – The side of the goal closest to the shooter.
  78. Canoe Ride – as in wanna go for a Canoe Ride?  Coined by former Edmonton Oilers tough guy Dave Semenko just prior to engaging in a fisticuff, he would ask his opponent if it was time to go on a little canoe ride.
  79. Rookie Shoe Shine – the act of placing a lump of white potatoes on a rookies foot while having dinner in a restaurant.  Made famous in the video documentary of the Edmonton Oilers called “Boys on the Bus” where Kevin McClellend comments on time for a rookie show shine.
  80. Empty Netter – A goal scored when the opposing goalie is not on the ice.
  81. Playoff beard – The superstitious practice of a hockey player not shaving his beard during the playoffs.
  82. Rebound – A rebound occurs when the puck bounces off a goalie, a player, or the net (or occasionally, the back boards) after a shot on goal.
  83. Paddle – The wide portion above the blade of a goalie’s stick.
  84. The Great Eight – nic-name for Alexander Ovechkin who wears jersey number 8 for the Washington Capitals.
  85. Standing on his head – When a goaltender is playing great, stopping everything sent his way and making outstanding saves, he is said to be “standing on his head”.
  86. Slew foot – Sweeping or kicking out a player’s skate or tripping them from behind, causing them to fall backwards.
  87. Two-Way Center – A center that has equal value in his offensive and defensive zone. Mark Messier was the ultimate all around player and “two-way center”.
  88. Breezers – Hockey pants.
  89. Stoned – A goalkeeper makes a great save and the shooter is “stoned”.
  90. Waffle-boarding – This term can be used to describe a quick save with the goalie’s blocker, usually a sideways-sweeping motion.
  91. Wrist shot – A type of shot that involves using arm muscles (especially those in the wrist and forearm) to propel a puck forward from the open-faced, concave part of the blade of a hockey stick.
  92. Chippy – Getting irritated with one another, usually on the brink of fighting.
  93. Healthy Scratch – A player who has no injury and is still not dressed for the game.
  94. Stickhandling – The act of controlling the puck with one’s stick, especially while maneuvering through opponents.
  95. Zamboni – A truck-like vehicle or smaller device used to clean and smooth the surface of an ice rink. The first ice resurfacer was developed by Frank Zamboni in 1949.
  96. Shutout – If two goaltenders combine for a shutout, neither receives credit for the shutout. Instead it is recorded as a Club shutout.
  97. Tripod – A player who has to balance himself with his stick.
  98. Slot – The middle area in front of the net.
  99. Fanning on the puck – also called whiff, when a players misses the puck when attempting to take a shot
  100. Tape to Twine –  Stick to Net (The tape of your blade to the twine in the net)

Here’s a little locker-room NHL hockey slang to help you out.