I am blogging once again during the intermission of a Canucks game. (Quick update- we’re on a three game win streak, capped by a lovely outing against the in-laws’ team, Detroit, Wednesday night). The theme of tonight’s post is based on the request of my friend to “teach her hockey, fast, so she can talk to a boy”. Well my dear, it’s Christmas, so your wish is my command. (It’s a one-time deal, so consider yourself cashed in). Below is my “cliff-notes” version of Hockey 101 for rookies.
Long story short, she’s interested in a Senators hockey-fanatic guy, and by proxy would like to learn the game to a point where should there be a potential for some quality time, she could pass with flying colours. Let’s start with the basic layout of the game.
Hockey is played in three 20 minute periods with intermissions of 15 minutes between. There are five men per team on the ice during play: the forwards- Right Wing, Center, Left Wing, Left and Right Defensemen and the Goalie. The players are formed into lines (the forwards), and pairings (Defensemen), both rotate throughout the course of the game. The goalie is the only player who normally plays a full 60 minute game, whereas the players average around 15-25 minutes per game, depending upon their position. So, to the rink we go. I’ve attached a photo of the rink layout below to help this explanation along. NHL rink specifications of 200 feet (61 m) × 85 feet (26 m). The corners are rounded in the arc of a circle with a radius of 28 feet (8.5 m). The NHL attacking zones are expanded, when compared to international ice sheets, with blue lines 64 feet (20 m) from the goal line and 50 feet (15 m) apart.
Next up, we go over a few basic penalty calls. Penalties are called when an infraction occurs against the NHL rulebook and the penalized team services between 2 minutes and 4 minutes in the box, giving a man advantage to the opposing team. When a penalty is handed out, the penalized team is on the “PK” (penalty kill) and the team with the man-advantage is on the “PP” (power play). Below is a basic run through of penalties that can be called during play.
Boarding– Checking a player violently into the boards.
Charging- Violently hitting an opponent as a result of speed and distance traveled, or by leaving their feet to deliver a hit.
Elbowing- Using an extended elbow to make contact with an opponent.
Holding- Impeding an opponent by grabbing onto them.
Butt-Ending- Jabbing an opponent with the knob of their stick.
Cross Checking- Checking an opponent with the shaft of the stick held in both hands.
High-Sticking- Hitting a player in the head or shoulders with a stick. A penalty (a single minor-2 minutes if no blood is drawn; a double minor-4 minutes, if blood is drawn).
Hooking- Impeding an opponent by placing the blade of a stick into their body.
All right, after this, I’m not sure anyone can handle more information. But, these are the basics to get you going, to sit through a game, comprehend it, and most of all enjoy it.
Who said you can’t wear heels and be knowledgeable about hockey?