How Good Is Your NHL Vocabulary?



By: Gavin Thagard

5 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Charging, face-off, power play; what do all of these words mean? Do you know what they mean? What about other vocabulary from the National Hockey League? Could you pass a quiz on NHL vocabulary? Here's your chance to find out!

The vocabulary for the National Hockey League can get quite confusing. Surely you have turned on a hockey game and wondered what on earth the announcer is talking about. Are those really hockey terms? Maybe, over time, your hockey vocabulary has increased. That's bound to happen if you watch enough of it, or maybe you have always been a hockey fan and know all of the words that are used.

If you think that's you, then take this quiz and prove it. You might find it to be more difficult than you first thought. After all, some of those penalties can get a little confusing. How many people get charging mixed up with boarding? Or, how many fans have never heard of an apple in hockey? That could be a new one for you.

This quiz will be a challenge, but if that's what you are looking for, then get started and show all of your friends your hockey knowledge!

What is a score in hockey called?

Wayne Gretzky is the NHL all-time leader in goals scored. He finished his career with 894 goals.


What are hockey games played in?

The Montreal Forum is a historic arena located in Montreal, Canada. However, the arena is no longer used in the NHL today.


What is it called when you bump an opposing player with your body?

The Montreal Forum was last home to the Montreal Canadiens. However, the Canadiens now play in Bell Centre.


What penalty is called when you slam a player into the wall?

Boarding has become severely penalized over the years. Some players are even suspended for multiple games depending on the incident.


What line divides the rink in half?

NHL games are played with six players on each side of the rink. That includes the goalie.


What penalty is called when a player slams into another player, knocking them down?

A power forward is an unofficial position in ice hockey. They are both large and physical in the rink, often resulting in multiple penalties.


What's it called when two players fight for a puck dropped between them?

Face-offs are used to start each period in hockey. The referee is in charge of dropping the puck for the players to compete over.


Which official judges if a puck crosses the goal line?

There are four referees in each NHL game. Two of them are in charge of counting goals.


What's it called when you try to disrupt the opposing player who has the puck?

Eric Karlsson is considered one of the best defenders in the game today. He plays for the Ottawa Senators.


Which player tries to keep the puck out of the net?

The Vezina Trophy is given each year to the best goaltender in hockey. In 2017, the award was given to Sergei Bobrovsky, a Russian player.


What type of shot is awarded after a defensive infraction?

The Stanley Cup is given to the team that wins the Stanley Cup Finals, NHL's championships series. In 2017, the Pittsburg Penguins defeated the Nashville Predators to win the Cup.


This is when a player has the puck and there's nobody between him and the other team's net.

No team has more Stanley Cups than the Montreal Canadiens. They currently have 24.


A hockey rink is broken into what?

The closest team to the Canadiens in terms of Stanley Cups is the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, they only have 13.


What is another word for an assist in hockey?

The Hart Memorial Trophy is given to the best player in the NHL each year. The award is named after David Hart, the father of longtime coach Cecil Hart.


What is the name of the zone in the rink where you try to score?

No player has won more Hart Memorial Trophies than Wayne Gretzky. He finished his career with nine.


Where is the backdoor side of the net?

Wayne Gretzky is still regarded as the greatest hockey player of all time. In fact, his nickname is "The Great One."


Which zone is between the attacking zone and the defensive zone?

The National Hockey League is one of the oldest leagues in modern sports. It was founded in 1917.


Which line separates the attacking zone from the neutral zone?

Though the NHL was not founded until 1917, hockey was around long before that. In fact, indoor hockey can be traced back to 1875.


Players go here when they commit a penalty.

There was no Stanley Cup winner in 2005. This was due to a league-wide lockout.


When a puck bounces off the goaltender and back to the other team, what's it called?

No player has more points in a game than Darryl Sittler. He scored 10 points in a game against the Boston Bruins in 1976.


What's it called when a goaltender prevents a shot from entering the net?

Ben Scrivens has the most saves by a goaltender in a regular season shutout with 59. He accomplished this in 2014 while playing for the Oilers.


What is it called when one team has more players on the ice because of penalties?

In 1936, Normie Smith set the record for most saves by a goaltender in a playoff game with 92. The record still stands today.


What penalty is given when a player provides a hit that is unnecessary?

Players used to play NHL games without a helmet. The last player to do so was Craig MacTavish.


Which is NOT a forward position in hockey?

The center is the point guard of the offense. They are responsible for setting other players up with good shots.


What penalty is called when a player stabs his opponent with his stick?

The first million-dollar contract in the NHL was given to Bobby Orr in 1971. It was worth $200,000 per year for five years.


What's called when a player tries to stop another player without the puck?

Manon Rhéaume was the first woman to play in the NHL. She played in an exhibition game in 1992 for the Tampa Bay Lightning.


What is it called when a player pretends his opponent knocked him down?

Players are often made fun of for taking a dive. However, when it results in a penalty on the other team, the dive is worth it.


What is a player called who takes on violent members of another team?

Tiger Williams was one of the most feared enforcers in the NHL. He spent more time in the penalty box than any other player in NHL history.


A hand pass can only be performed where?

No defender has more blocked shots in a season than Kris Russell. He set the record at 283 during the 2014-15 season.


How many goals are scored in a hat-trick?

NHL nets are four feet high and six feet wide. That's one reason it's so hard to score on a good goalie.


Which side of the goal is closest to the shooter?

Ice pucks are frozen before a game. Freezing the puck keeps it from bouncing during the game.


What is it called when a team tries to get back on defense?

An NHL hockey rink is 200 feet long. That can make it quite difficult to get back on defense if the other team has already advanced the puck.


What is it called when a player runs into the goaltender?

Patrick Roy has the most wins by a goaltender in the playoffs. He finished his career with 151 playoff wins.


What is it called when a defenseman passes the puck to another defenseman?

The fastest score ever in a playoff game was six seconds from when the game started. This was accomplished by Don Kozak in 1977.


What is the area between a goaltender's legs called?

There are five holes around a goaltender. Different goaltenders have different weaknesses, with some being susceptible to a shot between the legs.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!