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A Brief Primer On Ice Hockey

By fluxrad in Culture
Mon May 24, 2004 at 06:15:22 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)

The sport of hockey has been the long neglected stepchild of North American team competition. While many have watched the Red Wings on TV, or possibly been to one or two games, hockey is still relatively unknown to most people south of the Canadian border. This is unfortunate , as hockey could be considered the most fast paced and intelligent sports played today.

Hockey Basics

Hockey is played on a 200'x85' sheet of ice* divided into sections by a center red line and two blue lines positioned 60' out from each end of the rink. These blue lines serve to mark each team's offensive and defensive zones. At both ends of the ice, about 13' from the end boards, a 6' wide by 4' tall net is positioned. A full diagram can be found here.

Each team gets to put six players on the ice. This usually consists of three forwards, two defenseman, and of course, the goalie. At the beginning of the game, the puck is dropped and the players fight for posession with their sticks, this is the faceoff. From here on, the goal is simple. Use your stick to put the puck in the other team's net as often as possible. At the end of three 20 minute periods, the team with the most goals wins.

The Rules

To fully appreciate hockey, you have to first understand some basic rules. While this is by no means a comprehensive list, this should serve to outline calls that are made by the referees most often.

1. Icing

When one team shoots the puck from their own end of the center red line all the way past the other team's goal line, icing is called. The faceoff will then be brought back to the violating team's zone. This rule was put in place to prevent teams from simply shooting the puck the length of the ice to waste time. In the NHL, the opposing team must touch the puck first for icing to be called. Other international leagues simply call icing as soon as the puck has passed the goal line.

2. Off Side

This rule states that no offensive player can go into the offensive zone (past the blue line) before the puck does. This is why you'll see teams in the NHL dump the puck hard into the zone before anyone goes into get it (also called "dump and chase").

3. Two Line Pass

This is strictly an NHL rule and is not found in international or beer-league hockey. This rule simply states that the puck cannot be passed from one player to another over both the center red line and one of the blue lines.

4. Penalties

When a player from one team commits one of any number of infractions such as tripping, elbowing, or roughing, they are sent to the penalty box. For a minor penalty, the player must sit for two minutes. Other infractions can get you more time, such as five minutes for fighting. When this happens, the team that was assessed the penalty must play short-handed for the assessed time.

You can get a comprehensive list of rules at NHL.com or USAHockey.com

The Terms

The Biscuit - Another term for the puck. A 1" thick by 3" in diameter rubber disk.

The Crease - This is the blue painted area just in front of the net where the goalie stands.

The Slot - The area between the two faceoff circles in a team's zone, located just above the crease. This area is considered the prime scoring location in hockey.

The Point - The point is the area just inside the blue line in the offensive zone, usually occupied by defensemen.

The Neutral Zone - The center-ice area in between the two blue lines.

Power Play - When a penalty is assessed, the team that does not have a player in the box is considered to be on the power play.

Breakaway - A player that has taken the puck out of his own zone with no players in front of him. This is considered the best scoring opportunity in hockey since the only player that can prevent him from getting a goal is the opposing goalie.

The Players

As alluded to earlier, each of the six players on each team have very specific duties. This is easily seen when watching an NHL game. If one player is too far out of position the other team may get an easy scoring opportunity.

The Goaltender

The Goalie's position on paper is relatively simple. Stop the puck from going in the net. However in practice he has one of the most difficult jobs on the ice. If he is playing in net properly, the goalie will make sure that any shots directed towards him are either swallowed by the large glove he has on one hand, or redirected harmlessly out to the side of the ice with his blocker or pads. In fact, J.S. Giguere proved in last year's Stanley Cup Finals exactly how far a goalie that's "in the zone" can take a team.


Next to the goalie, the two players relied upon to prevent the other team from scoring are the defensemen. In the defensive zone, they will usually be positioned with one defenseman attacking the player with the puck and the other making sure that no opposing player is sitting in the slot. When the other team is coming into the defensive zone, the defenseman's job is to make sure that the player either can't get a shot on goal or he gets a very bad shot on goal.

In the offensive zone, the defensemen are usually stationed at the points. Sitting at the blue line they can make sure that the puck doesn't accidentally leave the zone and that no opposing players get a breakaway.

Left/Right Wing

The left and right wingers are the two main forwards. They must be fast and handle the puck well. In the offensive zone, their job is to get open for a pass and get ready to either pass to another forward or put the puck on net. If the puck is turned over to the other team, the winger's job is to forecheck, or pressure the other player into making a mistake. Defensively, the wingers will usually cover the two defensemen at the point.


The center is the most complex of all the positions in hockey. When in the defensive zone, the center must act as a third defenseman, clearing the slot of any free players and attacking the puck carrier. On offense, the center must be ready to play on any area of the ice. If a wing goes to the front of the net, the center must be ready to take his old position along the boards. If a defenseman leaves his point, the center must be ready to take his spot as well.


Watching an NHL hockey game can be a bit confusing for the newcomer. Even knowing the positions and the rules, it can still be hard trying to figure out exactly why players do certain things. Though hockey strategy covers everything from one-on-one's to the Swedish Torpedo, the following should serve as a pretty basic guide to NHL-style play:

The Forecheck

When a team turns the puck over in the offensive zone, the other team must first break out of their own zone. The forwards will skate towards the blue-line and the defense will look to pass up ice. In order to keep pressure on the opposing players, the team that turned the puck over will usually keep one or two offensive players low in the zone to try to turn the puck back over. This defensive pressure in the offensive team's zone is the forecheck. When watching a game, take note of how the forechecking player constantly tries to steer the other player towards the boards. What he's dong is trying to get the defenseman to make a bad pass, or better yet, give up the puck altogether.

One extremely contraversial type of forecheck is known as the trap. Developed in Sweden, this style of forecheck basically consists of giving up pressure in the offensive zone in order to help clog up the neutral zone. This shuts down any ability the other team has of skating through or passing easily. Games featuring trap teams are usually considered boring because of their lack of offensive play. Probably the most famous trap team today are the New Jersey Devils. When watching their games, you'll note that emphasis is not places so much on winning, but on not losing.

Dump And Chase

One of the ways around the trap is the dump and chase. Once a team has broken into the neutral zone with the puck, a player will skate up to the red line (to avoid icing) and dump the puck hard into the offensive zone. While it looks like they are giving up the puck, this is actually a calculated maneuver designed to regain posession by going around the defense rather than through them. When you see this in a game, notice how on the other side of the ice, one or two of the offensive players will immediately skate hard into the zone. What they are doing is attempting to regain posession of the puck. Since the defense is skating backwards when the puck is dumped, the theory is that the offensive wingers will win the race.


Of course, now that the team has the puck in the offensive zone, they have to setup a play to get the puck in the net. One of the basic ways to do this is to try to get the defensive players out of position by cycling the puck along the boards. In essence, the offensive players will try to set up a triangle to one side of the net. From there, they can switch positions with eachother while passing the puck back to the player that took their place. When done properly, cycling can be used to get the opposing defensemen out of position, creating scoring chances for the offensive team. Exaples of great cycling teams include the Colorado Avalanche and the Vancouver Canucks.

How am I supposed to follow that little black dot?

The short answer is: you don't have to. When you first start watching hockey you'll have a tendency to try to follow the puck all the time. When it gets lost or tied up the game becomes confusing. Instead of watching the puck, try watching the players. A perfect example of this is the dump and chase described above. When the defenseman skates to the red line with the puck, don't try to see where he's going to pass the puck, expect that he's going to dump the puck in. With a bit of practice you'll get used to reading the play, and actually find it quite easy.

If you're looking for a good game to watch to practice your new-found hockey understanding, I would suggest Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. It starts this Tuesday.

*NHL rules.


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A Brief Primer On Ice Hockey | 112 comments (88 topical, 24 editorial, 1 hidden)
What the shit? (1.00 / 39) (#4)
by Mutually Assured Destruction on Sun May 23, 2004 at 05:22:18 PM EST

I already voted this pile of garbage down.

I think what is most apalling to me is that anybody would need to read some kind of primer on hockey. I'm from a warm, southern state where hockey was nonexistent, but I'm still shocked that people would find this useful.

What a sad, isolated bunch of children you must've been. When I wanted to go out and play baseball, I didn't go to a bookstore and pick up "A brief baseball HOWTO", I went out there and interacted with other people. This can only be a testament to how many of you must've had absolutely dickless fathers.

I guess the cycle is complete now, because you're all grown up and busy plopping your fat asses in front of the television to become yet another worthless spectator. Enjoy rotting away, you fucking couch potatoes.

I wanted to +1 you. (none / 2) (#45)
by killmepleez on Mon May 24, 2004 at 02:22:45 PM EST

You have a valid point in there, but it gets lost in the vitriol. Each poster must ask this question: "Am I posting because I need the immediate emotional payoff that comes with using the theoretical Reader's attention as validation, or am I posting because I wish to attempt to participate in a discussion with others as real people like myself?"

"I instantly realized that everything in my life that I thought was unfixable was totally fixable - except for having just jumped."
--from "J
[ Parent ]
I agree with your thesis statement (none / 3) (#61)
by Single White Coder on Mon May 24, 2004 at 07:41:13 PM EST

However, the way you went about expressing it leaves something to be desired.

Tone things down a bit and you'll find people are much more willing to hear you out.

But yeah, most "guys" here are wimpy little pusses !

I Offer No Apologies For Being Motivated By The Basest Desires (Excessive Amounts Of Sex, Food, & Sleep)

[ Biker Blog ]

[ Parent ]

Yes, and (none / 1) (#88)
by lumpenprole on Wed May 26, 2004 at 10:05:57 AM EST

When I want to spit random bile for no good reason, I find real people to do it with in order that I may actually deal with the consequences of my actions.

Really, the irony of somebody posting on Kuroshin and complaining about 'couch potatoes' is molasses thick. I didn't know you zesty, live-every-second-to-it's-fullest, serrated-edge-of-life, to-the-extreme people bothered posting on message boards. I thought you'd be out cliff diving of the coast of indonesia with spider monkeys tripping on acid. Really, you destroying a very pleasent sterotype for me.

[ Parent ]

That's not even the point of the article, 'tard (none / 1) (#95)
by brunes69 on Wed May 26, 2004 at 05:02:22 PM EST

The article is a brief primer on hockey for people who may want to watch it and understand what the hell the refs and commentators are talking about, it's not a how-to-play-the-game.

When you were 4 and saw your first baseball game on TV you sure as hell didn't just start watching and automatically know what the rules were, you had to ask your father or some other bozo to explain it to you. But if you live in the southern US, and you don't know anyone who knows the rules of hockey, then yes you'd have to look up the rules in order to have a clue what you were watching.

So stop spouting your geek-prejudiced bullshit. Thanks.

---There is no Spoon---
[ Parent ]

You're new to the game, aren't you? (3.00 / 13) (#11)
by Run4YourLives on Sun May 23, 2004 at 06:59:50 PM EST

As a Canadian who, like most other Canadians, as lived with and played this game my entire life, I think it's pretty safe for me to comment on your article.

You do a pretty good job, but it's obvious you've only recently deveolped an appreciation for the sport. No worries there, but there are a few things I'd like to point out.

  1. The biscuit. In all my life I've never heard anyone refer to the puck by this term. Where'd you get it?
  2. The most important rule to understanding the play of the game is the offside rule. You should list it first.
  3. Two line pass. The two line pass was an essential part of all forms of hockey until recently. It is not limited to the NHL, but in Canada (and therfore most NA versions.) is present in all levels of the sport. Because of the change of tactics the removal of this rule causes, some leagues are experimenting with it's removal.
  4. Rules. International and NHL rules are quite different (the biggest difference being ice size, which you neglect to mention). You should link to the IIHF instead of USAHockey to highlight this.
  5. The NHL is currently in the final round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs (first game, Calgary/Tampa Bay is Tuesday), the world championships just concluded, and a World Cup of Hockey is upcoming in August. You make no mention of any of these events, which are an excellent example of hockey that an interested person would do well to watch. Considering the looming labour strife in the NHL, this may be the last high level hockey we see for a while.
Overall, a little simplistic, but a decent article.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
Two years (none / 2) (#12)
by fluxrad on Sun May 23, 2004 at 07:21:27 PM EST

Actually, just over two years.

The biscuit. In all my life I've never heard anyone refer to the puck by this term. Where'd you get it?

That one's common knowledge, AFAIK. I've heard it too many times to count. It's like calling a football pigskin.

Your dear uncle flux
[ Parent ]
2-line passes (none / 1) (#15)
by metalfan on Sun May 23, 2004 at 08:36:52 PM EST

...are allowed by International rules.  Can't remember if the CHL allows it.  NHL doesn't.

International rules also use no-touch icing.  CHL does too.  NHL doesn't but probably will next season.

Speaking of CHL, my current-city-of-residence team just won the Memorial Cup today.  Go Rockets!

[ Parent ]

Um I know... (none / 1) (#46)
by Run4YourLives on Mon May 24, 2004 at 02:28:13 PM EST

The two line pass was an essential part of all forms of hockey until recently

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
All I Ever Really Needed to Know (none / 3) (#20)
by BlackStripe on Sun May 23, 2004 at 09:22:39 PM EST

About Hockey I Learned Playing NHL 2K3 By Segasports

This person (the story author I mean) has ABSOLUTELY NO understanding of the deeper concepts behind the game. This kind of surface analysis doesn't attract new fans and doesn't provide anything to people who already keep up with the game but might have learned something interesting. I already complained about this here, so I won't go in again. Suffice it to say that this article is horrible.

I tried to be polite before, but this equally pathetic repost is just ridiculous. Reading what those with some actual connaissance (or, to use a hockey pun that the author of this story WILL NOT GET: savoir-faire) have to say about their specific areas of interest has always been a high point of K5. This is an article written by someone who understands nothing more than the basics of the subject and it's an annoying waste of time.


[ Parent ]

Hey um.... (3.00 / 4) (#27)
by fluxrad on Mon May 24, 2004 at 12:02:14 AM EST

While you may feel that everyone is like you and understands the deeper concepts of hockey, most do not. The article was explicitly rewritten to address the majority of the criticism in my last article - namely that people wanted me to explain the utter basics of the game.

Suffice it to say, I don't mind if you voted the story down. It wasn't written for you in the first place.

Your dear uncle flux
[ Parent ]
You missed the point (none / 2) (#50)
by BlackStripe on Mon May 24, 2004 at 02:45:14 PM EST

It's not that you didn't express enough, it's that you don't seem to *know* enough. It's not that you didn't explain the nuances of the North American vs. Eastern European vs. Northern European schools of play, it's that you don't even seem to know they exist (until you did a google search about the origins of the trap, which not surprisingly reflects exactly as much understanding as one who just did a google search).

You don't have to write a piece for those who already have a good knowledge base, but you should at least come from that group. I fenced for a year in college, but it would be ridiculous for me to write a K5 piece on fencing. I could talk about all the basic stuff, but I would both look like an idiot to anyone who knew more about it and I would be doing a disservice to the people who actually wanted to learn something. The audience (and in your case the author) may not be able to see what is missing, but if it were placed side-by-side with someone who actually had a clue what they were talking about the distinction would be obvious. For an excellent example of what this type of article should look like, try this one.

Your article could have been written by someone who had just gone to their first game and had it explained to them. It is a joke. This isn't even an obscure subject. There are literally tens of millions of people in North America who understand this game dramatically better than you, and as many more again in Europe. That you would take it upon yourself to write this article is a testament to just how low your (apparently correct, by the rating) expectations are of the common k5 member's connection to the offline world.

[ Parent ]

That's why there are comments (none / 2) (#52)
by SocratesGhost on Mon May 24, 2004 at 03:34:31 PM EST

Add to the conversation.

To me, an article only has to be sufficiently good enough. As long as it is not misleading, inflamatory, or idiotic, that should be good enough. We should expect incompleteness otherwise there is no room for discussion.

Frankly, I knew nothing about the sport except for the two hockey games I attended back during college. I found this (and the previous) article very informative so your claims that there is no audience is just incorrect.

I drank what?

[ Parent ]
Just out of curiosity... (none / 0) (#75)
by fluxrad on Tue May 25, 2004 at 02:50:19 PM EST

What exactly was it that I said (or perhaps more appropriately, said incorrectly?) that makes you think I know nothing of the game?

Your dear uncle flux
[ Parent ]
heh... (none / 1) (#49)
by Run4YourLives on Mon May 24, 2004 at 02:42:56 PM EST

About Hockey I Learned Playing NHL 2K3 By Segasports

I guess that's not very much. You've never played the game?

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

biscuit (none / 2) (#32)
by the77x42 on Mon May 24, 2004 at 04:22:37 AM EST

i guess you don't watch cbc season games then :D... and on sportsnet hughson says it at least every other game.

oh, and does anyone really care about a calgary/tampa final?

"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

[ Parent ]

yeah... (none / 1) (#47)
by Run4YourLives on Mon May 24, 2004 at 02:35:14 PM EST

but they say a lot of other stupid things too... it's more colourful banter than hockey term.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
btw... (none / 1) (#48)
by Run4YourLives on Mon May 24, 2004 at 02:37:59 PM EST

speaking of cbc... were you watching that vancouver/calgary game when millen was going on about calgary having the "long change" in overtime? What a tool... I'm sure hope somebody explained that the rink is symetrical.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
no... (none / 1) (#54)
by the77x42 on Mon May 24, 2004 at 03:55:51 PM EST

i don't listen to millen anymore because the bastard is never going to get over the broken stick thing -- does he not realize the players don't care and prefer composite sticks???

"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

[ Parent ]
Not quite (none / 1) (#64)
by kentm on Mon May 24, 2004 at 07:51:04 PM EST

The rink is symmetrical, but you stay in the same bench the whole game.  In one period, the door to your bench is right at your blue line.  When you switch ends, the closest door is now at center ice, hence the long change.

Now, I'll agree that Millen is an idiot, but you need to pick a better example that this to prove it. :)


[ Parent ]

you obviously weren't watching... (3.00 / 4) (#67)
by Run4YourLives on Mon May 24, 2004 at 10:28:40 PM EST

millen was commenting about how calgary has the long change in the first overtime period...and said it was some kind of disadvantage to the home team. Of course, he failed to figure out that vancouver also had the long change that period.

It was really quite comical, even cuthbert was laughing at him.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

And, of course... (none / 3) (#51)
by Erbo on Mon May 24, 2004 at 02:58:53 PM EST

the stick is often referred to as "the twig" or "lumber." Example: "Forsberg snapped his twig on that last shot, he'll have to head over to the bench for some fresh lumber."

Another term you often hear is "five-hole," referring to the space between the goalie's legs. Most often used to refer to a puck that goes through the legs of the goalie and enters the net. Example: "Sakic made a centering pass to Konowalchuk, who put it in Marty Turco's five-hole."

The penalty box is referred to as "the box" or sometimes "the sin bin." Often times, you'll just hear the commentator say something like, "Modano just tripped up Selanne, and he'll go." This indicates that Modano will be going to the penalty box on a two-minute minor penalty for tripping. In this case, Selanne would have been said to "draw" the penalty, particularly if he had been maneuvering in such a way that forced Modano to take the penalty (i.e. trip him) to stop him from making a play.
Electric Minds - virtual community since 1996. http://www.electricminds.org
[ Parent ]

I once drew myself getting twigged in (none / 0) (#109)
by Sesquipundalian on Mon May 31, 2004 at 02:02:25 PM EST

the five bins of sin.

Does that count, or do there have to be more degrees of separation?

Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
good job (none / 2) (#73)
by Bobby Orr on Tue May 25, 2004 at 10:27:58 AM EST

I thought you did a great job. I got into hockey in college. I noticed something about the Canadian players who really knew the game: they were friendly and enjoyed introducing a newbie. However, as soon as you make any definitive statement, they talk down to you and explain how you really don't know anything. They procede to correct your opinion and set you straight. However, if you accept the new explanation and then talk to another player, you will still get the same treatment, even with your new-found knowledge!
This cycle will go on endlessly because they believe that they are the only ones qualified to enter an opinion on anything hockey-related.

Therefore, your article was great. The parent was just the expected patronization.

(oops, just made all the Canadians mad. that always came right before getting hurt!)

"The moment a person forms a theory his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory." -- Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

-1, hockey sucks (1.04 / 22) (#16)
by mycospunk on Sun May 23, 2004 at 08:53:28 PM EST

a note to the nerds voting this down: (2.26 / 15) (#22)
by rmg on Sun May 23, 2004 at 09:55:47 PM EST

  • A love of sport is the sign of a well-balanced intellect. A person who believes sport is below him is childish malcontent devoid of social skills and therefore useless to society.

middle school is over. move on.


i ♥ legitimate users.

dave dean

Hobbyist thinks his hobby makes him smart. (1.42 / 7) (#28)
by Torka on Mon May 24, 2004 at 12:25:25 AM EST

Film at 11.

[ Parent ]
witness the nerd's wit at work! (2.00 / 7) (#29)
by rmg on Mon May 24, 2004 at 12:29:30 AM EST

tell us, O nerd, how do you waylay the wisdom of the ancients with such ease?


i ♥ legitimate users.

dave dean
[ Parent ]

Heh. (1.40 / 5) (#30)
by Torka on Mon May 24, 2004 at 12:38:54 AM EST

Why, because thanks to my sacrificing a social life and getting laid in favour of open source software I'm the smartest person alive, naturally.

Or not. But don't let reality get in the way of your believing I'm a grotesque caricature of a personality type because you read one of my opinions.

It never fails to kill me seeing people calling each other nerds on the internet.

[ Parent ]

well, let's not be too hasty. (2.00 / 6) (#31)
by rmg on Mon May 24, 2004 at 12:50:43 AM EST

you've been caught defending a position only a nerd could hold. these are no baseless accusations!


i ♥ legitimate users.

dave dean
[ Parent ]

I agree, rmg (1.66 / 6) (#53)
by Psycho Dave on Mon May 24, 2004 at 03:41:39 PM EST

I'm getting sick of people who treat me like I'm a leper just because I happen to like football.

My girlfriend actually gets physically ill (so she says) when football is on. She says it's because her dad beat her when the game was on and his team was losing. She also says it's pointless and not "intellectual".

Sure it's pointless. So is going to the movies or reading a book. I don't paint my face blue and orange or beat anyone up over a game, so what's the problem?

(PS to all the E.U.ians, when I say football, I mean  REAL football--the kind that would leave mincing metrosexuals like Beckham into a quadriplegic pink smear on the astroturf.)

[ Parent ]

Yay, when can we ship him over? (none / 0) (#86)
by Ranieri on Wed May 26, 2004 at 07:54:14 AM EST

(PS to all the E.U.ians, when I say football, I mean REAL football--the kind that would leave mincing metrosexuals like Beckham into a quadriplegic pink smear on the astroturf.)
Taste cold steel, feeble cannon restraint rope!
[ Parent ]
Kinds of football (none / 0) (#97)
by Scurra on Wed May 26, 2004 at 08:08:47 PM EST

So, rugby football then?

[ Parent ]
a note to the nerds voting this up (2.50 / 4) (#65)
by Driusan on Mon May 24, 2004 at 08:24:22 PM EST

Reading a woefully inadequate "Brief Primer On Ice Hockey" doesn't make you well-balanced. Knowing an extremely superficial version of the rules used in the NHL won't help your social skills or intellect any more than read "A Brief Primer on Walking" would help a paraplegic walk.

This space for rent.
[ Parent ]
Well, (none / 1) (#78)
by trhurler on Tue May 25, 2004 at 04:02:25 PM EST

Your first sentence is sort of true. A love of sport CAN point towards a well balanced intellect. It can also point towards a useless retard whose social skills consist of groping womens' asses and asking them for another beer, and usually it does. I say this as a sports fan:)

As for people who believe sport is beneath them, few people think this. Many think only certain(often exotic) competitions are worthwhile, but there's nothing really wrong with that. In any case, people tend to like what they're good at. For instance, your average sports fan thinks computer programming is some sort of fag activity, because he's not any good at it, and never will be. On the other hand, your average programmer says the same of most sports. The difference isn't really social skills. Most peoples' social skills are atrocious these days; being a loud overconfident asshole is not "social skills." The difference, rather, is that one of these two people has a useful skill, and the other probably drives a forklift.

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
by rmg on Tue May 25, 2004 at 04:20:25 PM EST






i ♥ legitimate users.

dave dean
[ Parent ]

Two things (none / 1) (#80)
by trhurler on Tue May 25, 2004 at 04:44:28 PM EST

First of all, I've driven a forklift. I've done a lot more menial work than that, too. I'm not saying it isn't important work, in a sense. What I'm saying is, anyone who applies himself can learn it VERY quickly if he gets the chance. It is a "skill" that is essentially interchangable; anyone can do it, and your value as someone who can do it is basically no different than your value as someone who might be able to do it if he were given the chance. On the other hand, when I help put together the website part of a campaign of advertising that saves a local business(as one example of the sort of things I might do,) the skills I use are NOT something most people have or could reasonably obtain, and the result is more important than an entire lifetime of forklift driving; dozens or hundreds of people get to keep their jobs, and so on. When I replace an old method of doing something with a new method that costs fifty times less, the resultant effects can be measured in millions or tens of millions of dollars, and if you think that doesn't put food on peoples' tables, you're a moron. It does a lot more than one guy driving a forklift.

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
by Tex Bigballs on Tue May 25, 2004 at 07:03:44 PM EST

[ Parent ]
Studies (none / 0) (#110)
by DDS3 on Thu Jun 03, 2004 at 10:43:16 AM EST

A love of sport CAN point towards a well balanced intellect

Then again, there are the several studies which highlight the fact that the majority of males that are into sports do so because they pethetically cling to memories of spending time with the father.  Worse, it seems that many only have memories of their father as it relates to sports.

I would argue that, "a love of sport", is more likely associated with neglected children and people who attempt to hide their social problems by over compensating with sports.  Or, perhaps children that feel rejected by their father and living in the sports world is their sole chance at attempting to relive the only happy memories with their fathers.

Either way, it appears that those that have a serious love of sports are not well rounded nor well adjusted and would certainly not point toward a balanced intellect.

It can also point towards a useless retard whose social skills consist of groping womens' asses and asking them for another beer, and usually it does. I say this as a sports fan

Statistically, you'd be spot on and well supported by several behavior studies.

[ Parent ]

I married a hockey widow (2.60 / 5) (#26)
by MichaelCrawford on Sun May 23, 2004 at 11:15:28 PM EST

I'm American, from California. My wife is Canadian, born and raised in Newfoundland, but she lived in Nova Scotia when we met in 1997.

We met online, and it was several months before I flew to visit her the first time. I was very nervous that she wouldn't think I was a Real Man, because I didn't play hockey like all the Canadian guys.

When I finally confessed this to her, she said not to worry, she was very pleased I wasn't into hockey, as her former boyfriend used to leave her alone at home all the time while he went to play hockey with the guys. When he was at home, he was always glued to the game on TV.

One time I did watch a game with some friends in St. John's, and when I told her afterwards that I enjoyed the game, she got very upset.


Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy

Funny.. (none / 0) (#94)
by JohnnyCannuk on Wed May 26, 2004 at 12:46:54 PM EST

...I married a "puck bunny"...quite the opposite of the hockey widow! Besides, that she was with a guy who liked to watch burly men skating around with sticks rather than her is hardly the fault of hockey - sound like he had some issues...

We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]

-1, Hockey is not culture (1.00 / 17) (#34)
by trezor on Mon May 24, 2004 at 04:27:03 AM EST

Hockey is not, and will never be technology nor culture.

Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

+1FP Yes it is [NT] (2.42 / 7) (#38)
by idiot boy on Mon May 24, 2004 at 06:09:04 AM EST

Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself
[ Parent ]
In that case (none / 3) (#39)
by trezor on Mon May 24, 2004 at 07:10:11 AM EST

It is as much culture as football, baseball, basket, tennis, golf, crosscountry skiing, skijump, snooker, bownling and minimal-clothing beachvolley.

And that's not really what K5 is to me, but whatever. I personally thought there were other websites aimed at sport.

Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

[ Parent ]
this is not /., nobody cares what the logo says (2.25 / 4) (#40)
by fenix down on Mon May 24, 2004 at 09:33:36 AM EST

And if minimal-clothing beachvolley isn't culture, then I don't want any fucking culture.

[ Parent ]
Only if you got the cheatcodes <nt> (none / 3) (#42)
by trezor on Mon May 24, 2004 at 12:16:52 PM EST

Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

[ Parent ]
+1 for Icing (none / 3) (#35)
by Katt on Mon May 24, 2004 at 04:35:07 AM EST

I always wondered what the heck the "icing" thing the refs kept calling was all about, but was too lazy to go looking for the rules. Now I know.

I'm not really interested in much sport (none / 3) (#37)
by nebbish on Mon May 24, 2004 at 05:19:00 AM EST

Outside football, but this is brilliant, and has actually got me interested. +1FP

Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee

Reenactment of the vital omissions (2.78 / 14) (#55)
by K5 ASCII reenactment players on Mon May 24, 2004 at 04:04:17 PM EST


   \_     _O
  =_/\/  /_\ 
     /O_/  /
 *smack*   = =


*crack*   \ O
      O/__ \/\
      / _/\  /
       =  /  \\ 
         =   = =


   ,.  *shlick*
  , \;__ O
  .  /\ V\>
  ;    \ /
 O    // \\
     = = = =

The Malarchuk (3.00 / 6) (#62)
by GRAMMERSoft on Mon May 24, 2004 at 07:44:55 PM EST


   ,.  *shlick*
  , \;__ O
  .  /\ V\>
  ;    \ /
 O    // \\
     = = = =

In hockey, this is known as the Malarchuk. A goaltender, Clint Malarchuck of the Buffalo Sabres, had his carotid artery severed by a skate blade. He survived, and I believe even came back to play again (eventually).

[ Parent ]

"Eventually" (none / 0) (#89)
by rusty on Wed May 26, 2004 at 11:05:14 AM EST

He was back the same season, IIRC. I think he was out for like two months. Ah -- Google says three weeks. There's even a picture. If you're squeamish about the sight of blood, don't click that.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Not the blade of the skate (none / 0) (#93)
by JohnnyCannuk on Wed May 26, 2004 at 12:44:23 PM EST

..from the charging St. Louis player but rather the plastic throat protector he was wearing on his mask. Ironically, he (and most goalies) were wearing it to prevent severe throat damage from a slapshot. Clint charged out to do a poke check on a breakaway from a St. Louis Blues player and in the collision, this protector flipped upside down and the force of the impact sliced his throat, ear to ear. Had it not been for the St. Louis Blues trainer leaping on to the ice (with no skates) and stopping the bleeding with his bare hands, Malarchuk would have died right there, live on Hockey Night in Canada (it was a Saturday afternoon game, I believe).

I remember the details quite well because I happened to be watching the game at the time on a 56" inch rear projection TV and saw all the gorey detail. Not to mention, CBC replayed the incident every chance they got (just like NBC did when Lawrence Taylor broke Joe Thiesman's leg).

Just goes to show, except for a few idiots (that always seem to play for the Vancouver Cannuks) hockey players love the game and will gladly help out any player that is hurt, even if they are on the other team.

PS. Go Flames Go. Bring the Cup Home!

We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]

You see (none / 0) (#96)
by fluxrad on Wed May 26, 2004 at 05:08:21 PM EST

That's one thing I love about hockey. On the ice, guys are as brutal as they need to be to win. Off the ice, or after an injury, hockey players are some of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.

During one of my team's playoff games a few weeks ago, we were playing a team called the Hockey Docs. One of our guys took a wrister in the face. Immediately every doctor on the other team's bench jumped over the boards to make sure the guy was allright and see what kind of attention he needed. After he was taken off the ice, one of the docs on their team left the game to stay with him while an ambulance came.

It's a shame too. I really wanted to hate that team - they were really good.

Your dear uncle flux
[ Parent ]
checking rules (none / 3) (#57)
by Bossk on Mon May 24, 2004 at 04:54:33 PM EST

As I understand it, a defenseman is not allowed to check another player unless they have the puck in possession. This is seen abundantly near the boards. However, what I rarely see is a defenseman checking a puck handler in the open ice. It would seem like an effective move to knock out the puck handler, so I'm assuming it's more difficult to lay a check on an agile player than it sounds.

Yup (none / 2) (#60)
by fluxrad on Mon May 24, 2004 at 06:42:36 PM EST

That's why the number one rule in hockey is to keep your head up. In the NHL, the guys are usually good enough to see the defenseman coming and step around the check or at least get in position to lessen the impact of the hit.

Of course, if you want to see a great open ice hit, keep an eye on Devils games when Scott Stevens is playing. Last year in the cup, he put an open ice hit on Paul Karyia that knocked him cold and literally stopped his breathing.

Your dear uncle flux
[ Parent ]
Defense strategy (none / 0) (#90)
by rusty on Wed May 26, 2004 at 11:21:20 AM EST

The basic strategy for defense in hockey (which is identical to that of lacrosse, incidentally) is to keep your body between the puck and your goal, and keep your stick between you and your man. As long as you have your stick between you and him, you can harass him and make it difficult for him to move, and you've got time to keep your body in position. Now, if you went in there and threw down the big check, maybe you'd lay him on his ass. But if you don't, you're screwed because he'll already be past you and on his way in to the net. A check is your last resort unless you're positive the other guy totally doesn't know you're there. And yes, it is very hard to hit someone on open ice. It could be a lot easier, and you still wouldn't see it very much, because strategically it's always a bad decision.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Balance (none / 0) (#101)
by JonesBoy on Thu May 27, 2004 at 12:41:21 PM EST

If you check against the boards, the checked player cannot skate or handle the puck easily, since the boards are in his way.   You can effectively stop and trap a player for a few seconds with little effort.

Also, if you miss, you hit the boards, stay on your feet, and are able to skate away.   On open ice, you'd fall on your butt.
Speeding never killed anyone. Stopping did.
[ Parent ]

Repost (none / 3) (#58)
by antizeus on Mon May 24, 2004 at 05:28:22 PM EST

I'm reposting a link to MAD Magazine's Ice Hockey Primer. [here]

It seems that the only thing that this article has that is missing in the MAD primer is a description of what the red lines are for.

Europe.. (none / 2) (#59)
by alfadir on Mon May 24, 2004 at 05:29:05 PM EST

The European hockey rinks are bigger than the *NHL Rules version. Also there are 300 European players in the NHL.

So what? (none / 1) (#77)
by trhurler on Tue May 25, 2004 at 03:55:08 PM EST

There are players in the NHL from anywhere hockey is played. We like it that way. I realize Europeans are intensely nationalist, and are now rallying around the "European" nation, and that all this UN crap and other internationalist stuff is just to drag the US down to make Europe more important, but for crying out loud, quit with the blatant partisanship. Hockey, of all things, can be an international activity.

Oh, and the smaller rink serves a purpose, as does the two line pass rule. Namely, the game is faster and more demanding. Those European players you brag about agree with this, by and large.

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Nah.. (none / 0) (#87)
by lumpenprole on Wed May 26, 2004 at 09:55:14 AM EST

It's not a more exciting game with the smaller rink.  At least, not anymore.
 I really liked the olympic games before they turned into nhl all-star games because of the Euro rink. The increased space between the net and back boards meant harder checking, and more wraparound passes, which leads to more wristers. I think that makes a more exciting game. In the post trap era, a little extra space would probably speed things up a bit.

[ Parent ]
Bigger rinks are faster (none / 0) (#99)
by Arkaein on Wed May 26, 2004 at 11:58:15 PM EST

in my opinion. I don't really watch the pros, but I've watched college hockey, namely my alma mater the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers for the past six year or so, so I've seen my fair share of games on all sizes of rink. The Gophers play on an Olympic size sheet and accordingly their team is build around speed and passing technique. Contrast this with a team like their rival University of Wisconsin Badgers who play on a smaller sheet and are built more around size and strength.

Smaller rinks definately make for more physical games, but personally I prefer the speed and wide open passing in bigger rinks. To each their own, I guess.

The ultimate plays for Madden 2003 and Madden 2004<
Parent ]

Well, (none / 0) (#105)
by trhurler on Thu May 27, 2004 at 06:15:03 PM EST

The St. Louis Blues are my team. They're definitely a speed and passing team. Yes, they have some bruisers and big tough guys, but they're still primarily a finesse team. But, I don't think this is about the size of the ice. The Blues added grunt after getting wiped out in the playoffs by an expansion team whose only talent was beating people up. The expansion team then lost like bitches, and deservedly so, to a team that had actual hockey playing ability but also some grunt on their team. This was several years ago. To succeed in the NHL, you need both sets of skills. My hypothesis is that less violence is tolerated in European leagues, college games, and so on by both the rules and the officials, and that is the reason for the difference.

The NHL is what hockey becomes when you allow players do to most of what they want to do left to their own devices, and eliminate only those things which cause excessive injuries. I like that, myself, but to each his own.

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
best summation of hockey...ever (2.20 / 5) (#63)
by crayz on Mon May 24, 2004 at 07:47:05 PM EST

"Hockey combined the slow-paced scoring of soccer with all the gayness of ice skating. And because of it not being such a great sport, they all stop playing and kick the shit out of each other every few minutes." - Seanbaby

Uh huh (none / 2) (#69)
by kjb on Tue May 25, 2004 at 12:55:24 AM EST

I normally hate using the word 'gay' in this context, but:

Quoting that guy is about as gay as it gets.

Now watch this drive.
[ Parent ]

Sure, sure (none / 1) (#76)
by trhurler on Tue May 25, 2004 at 03:46:09 PM EST

I bet you like basketball and NASCAR, don't you, you inbred retard? Go tell an NHL player what a fag he is on his skates. When you get out of intensive care, let me know how that worked out for you.

Like Formula One, hockey requires a certain attitude towards competition and skill that some people just don't have. For you guys, there's always overhyped sports with rules meant to ensure that big stars look good, rules routinely bent to HELP big stars look good, and rules meant to keep competition close even when one team or competitor has a vast advantage over the other. For the sort of mindless dipshits such as yourself that like these things, I mention again the NBA and NASCAR. For the rest of us, who are normal, decent people, we have hockey.

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
I assume you're trolling (none / 1) (#81)
by crayz on Tue May 25, 2004 at 06:12:39 PM EST

But I don't watch any sports more regularly than two games per year.

[ Parent ]
Formula 1? (none / 0) (#111)
by Miniluv on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 03:02:40 PM EST

How can you compare those techno junky dipshits with Hockey players?

I'll give you that Nascar requires zero-skill on anybody's part, however Formula 1 and their constant rule changes and techno-gadgetry removing many of the skills real racing divisions require sucks.

The thing about hockey that so few people seem to get is that its one of the most layered sports around. The levels of strategy, on and off the ice, are what really keep me coming back to watch hockey games. That, and drinking Molson Canadian in the Saddledome and hearing the buzzer, feeling the flame, roaring with the crowd and watching the best damn player on the ice, Jarome Iginla, celebrate is way too fulfilling a sporting experience to miss.

"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'
[ Parent ]

Riight.. (none / 0) (#92)
by JohnnyCannuk on Wed May 26, 2004 at 12:31:58 PM EST

...because the slow motion of baseball and the non-stop "scoring" of basketball is sooooo much better than end-to end, high-speed skating that combines skill grace and toughness.

Baseball- zzzzzzz wake me up when it's over Basketball - see the last 2 minutes of the 4th quarter and you've seen the game.

BTW, I play all three of those sports. I love to "play" all of these sports. I just think watching hockey is the only one truly exciting for the spectator. A player could lay a big hit or score at any time (much like Football, which I also play and love to watch). Base ball and basketball are either lots of standing around or lots of scoring. Boring.

From ther perspec tive of someone who actually plays all these sports...

We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]

that's US "hockey", not pure hockey. (none / 0) (#106)
by chimera on Fri May 28, 2004 at 02:57:36 PM EST

as all who have some basic understanding of hockey knows, americans are lazy fat and stupid and can't skate for shit - so all they do is throw gloves and fight. the basic styles of hockey: USian: extreme gay noted in previous quotation. Russian: clap-clap (3 touches and goal. extreme skating applied). Charming the coach is useless. Canadian: dump and chase, good skating and some heavy killer tank forechecking on adversarys point players. Japanese: 6 players in own zone, throwaway pucks may score if the sun shines on the emperor Swedish: move the puck away from me at all costs. The goalie plays a "wall" and saves us from losses. Chech & Slovakian: defensive hook, slash and steal the puck. Then counterattack and score. Finnish: Skate good and move players front of the goalie as irritation. Shoot from midzone and score. If it's swedish we killsssss it.

[ Parent ]
The Last White Sport (1.16 / 12) (#66)
by sakusha on Mon May 24, 2004 at 10:11:24 PM EST

A redneck I once knew described what he considered the sole virtue of hockey, it was "the last all-white sport." He said it was the last sport he could watch because he didn't have to watch "niggers take over another sport."

Is this the sort of non-integrated sport, favored by racists and rednecks, that you really want to watch?

Unfortunately for the redneck (none / 3) (#68)
by kjb on Tue May 25, 2004 at 12:42:00 AM EST

There certainly are black players in the NHL.  In fact, one of the most prominent players in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is black.

Now watch this drive.
[ Parent ]

Not to mention (none / 1) (#74)
by Dr Caleb on Tue May 25, 2004 at 01:34:56 PM EST

Grant Fuhr is in the hall of fame.
Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Nice (none / 2) (#72)
by voblia on Tue May 25, 2004 at 08:32:52 AM EST

A fine example of: Attack ad hominem :)
The redneck likes hockey, hockey must be baaaad for you. Do you want to watch the sport the redneck is watching ?
Soldier boy made of clay now an empty shell ...
[ Parent ]
If you've never seen non caucasians play hockey (none / 0) (#91)
by nutate on Wed May 26, 2004 at 12:00:44 PM EST

You don't watch hockey.

[ Parent ]
There are plenty of black players.... (none / 0) (#107)
by gte910h on Sun May 30, 2004 at 03:13:07 PM EST

The areas of North America that play hockey just happen to have fewer blacks than the rest of the country. This doesn't have anything to do with prejudice, just demographics of the area's where hockey is big [those with ice in the winter (midwest) or large ice rinks(texas)].

[ Parent ]
Scarey thing is... (2.66 / 6) (#71)
by Dasher42 on Tue May 25, 2004 at 05:44:59 AM EST

...When I first sat down to watch a game of ice hockey, I thought to myself, "Wow! Cool! You have teamwork, objectives, and a skilled reckoning with physics and momentum. This reminds me of Tribes!"

I deserve only death!

no article about hockey... (2.75 / 4) (#83)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 25, 2004 at 07:39:24 PM EST

is complete wihtout mentioning slap shot

not only a great fucking movie, but watching the movie negates the need to read this article: you know all about hockey after watching it

and who can forget the hanson brothers?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Thx ... (none / 0) (#108)
by tilly on Sun May 30, 2004 at 07:43:24 PM EST

I added the movie to my Netflix queue.

[ Parent ]
good intro to my favorite sport (none / 1) (#84)
by shrubbery on Tue May 25, 2004 at 09:40:48 PM EST

Very well written and to the point. If your going to mention the trap, then I think you should also mention the left wing lock, made famous by Detroit, and the Swedish Torpedo system employed by their Olympics team.

If you can find me a team that *doesn't* employ some sort of trap besides Edmonton and Tampa, I'll give you a nickel.

Calgary. (none / 0) (#85)
by Run4YourLives on Tue May 25, 2004 at 11:35:15 PM EST

Now give me my nickel.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
Not exactly true (none / 0) (#112)
by propinquinty on Wed Jul 07, 2004 at 01:58:02 AM EST

Calgary may not employ the trap exclusively, but they have elements of the trap in their game, i.e. clutching and grabbing, holding, basically doing anything to hinder their opposition.

As well, no team is exclusive in use, or non-use of the trap. In many cases, only the fourth-line of a team may employ the trap because they are utterly devoid of talent. Coaches, regardless of the regular style they play, usually like to trap when they have a 1-goal lead and the game is winding down, so as not to risk anything.

[ Parent ]

Wrong end of the stick? (none / 0) (#98)
by Scurra on Wed May 26, 2004 at 08:13:54 PM EST

Isn't hockey something that teenage girls in short skirts tend to play?

Can't you read, eh? (none / 0) (#100)
by kjb on Thu May 27, 2004 at 01:48:18 AM EST

This is Ice Hockey.

You are talking about Field Hockey, where girls whack each other on the shins with hurley sticks.

Now watch this drive.
[ Parent ]

he could also mean tonsil hockey (none / 0) (#102)
by llimllib on Thu May 27, 2004 at 02:38:28 PM EST

__just saying__

[ Parent ]
Go Flames Go! (none / 0) (#103)
by johnnyfever on Thu May 27, 2004 at 03:30:18 PM EST

That is all I have to say

The best game I ever saw (none / 0) (#104)
by epepke on Thu May 27, 2004 at 05:24:32 PM EST

The best hockey game I ever saw was an exhibition match in Tallahassee, FL. At one point, almost all of the players from both teams went out illegally on the ice to beat each other up.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

A Brief Primer On Ice Hockey | 112 comments (88 topical, 24 editorial, 1 hidden)
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