How Much Hockey Slang Do You Know?

By: Daniel Yetman

How Much Hockey Slang Do You Know?
Image: Kmf164 via WikiCommons

About This Quiz

If you want to be a great hockey player, you'll need to learn how to wheel, snipe and celly, but you'll also have to learn how to speak hockey. That means you need to brush up on your dirty dangles and grow out your lip lettuce. 

If you've never watched a barnburner or have never seen a goalie standing on their head, you might have to go back and watch a few more hockey games before you're ready to make it to the show. Some people love watching players drop their gloves or start a tilly, but we're more about watching those tweeners and mad howitzers that put the biscuit in the basket from the blue line. Are you still with us or has all our hockey terms knocked out a few of you chiclets? We'll stop before things turn into a gong show. 

Are you ready to see how your hockey knowledge stacks up? Then stop riding the pine and let's get going. You don't need to wear your brain bucket for this one. Just let your flow down and see if you can go top shelf on these 35 questions! Don't worry if you get stuck. We're not going to send you to the sin-bin this time. 

23 - zebra Who does 'zebra' refer to?
The other team's goalie
The refs
The refs are known as the zebra because of the black and white stripes on their uniforms. "I face washed a guy who was chirping me after the whistle, but I got thrown into the sin-bin because I did it in front of the zebra."
The defensemen
Your own goalie

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31 - The Great One When we talk about 'The Great One,' who are we talking about?
Rocket Richard
Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Gretzky put up so many points during his career that he has more assists than any other player has points. Over 20 NHL seasons, he scored 894 goals with an amazing 2,857 points.
Bobby Orr
Sidney Crosby

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22 - mucker What's a 'mucker' good at?
Forechecking and working the boards
The mucker on the team is by no means the most skilled player. They usually make up for their lack of finesse by working hard and grinding. You'll find muckers along the boards or back-checking when the play shifts to their own end.
Setting up their teammates
Scoring goals
Taking face-offs

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35 - going five-hole What do you call it when you score between a goalie's legs?
Going five-hole
Going five-hole refers to finding that sweet spot between the goalie's stick and legs. If between the legs is five-hole, where are the other four holes? The upper left and right and the lower left and right parts of the net make up the remainder.
Starting a gong-show
Pinching the pipes
Finding the slot

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19 - dump and chase Which one of these does NOT mean to score a goal?
To put the biscuit in the basket
To dump and chase
To dump and chase means to shoot the puck into the other team's end and try to beat them to the puck. It's a popular strategy for taking control of the game and trying to tire out the other team.
To light the lamp
To go top shelf

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29 - butterfly What do you call the style of goaltending where the goalie guards the bottom of the net with his pads?
Stand up
Butterfly
The butterfly goaltending style is the most common in today's game. It involves covering the bottom half of the net with the pads in a V-shape, which resembles a butterfly's wings.
Hybrid style
Blocking style

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32 - riding the pine Which of these means spending the entire game on the bench?
Burning the barn
Cherry-picking
Riding the pine
The origin of this expression is pretty straight-forward. Once you get to the NHL, there aren't too many players that are just riding the pine, but at lower levels, some players may barely see the ice.
Back checking

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1 - slapping some Alfredo on it What is 'slapping some Alfredo on it' referring to?
Saucer passing
"Slapping some alfredo" may not make sense to you if it's the first time you're hearing this expression. However, the train of thought goes like this: Alfredo sauce, sauce, saucer, saucer pass.
Hip checking somebody
Deking
Scoring

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18 - face wash What do you call it when a player rubs his glove over another player's face?
An ice breaker
A fishbowl
A face wash
You might see a player get face washed when he's shooting his mouth after the play. There's nothing worse than getting a face full of smelly glove when the ref is looking the other way.
A zebra

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16 - goalie stands on his head When a goalie 'stands on his head,' what's he doing?
Letting in almost every shot
Playing so well that it's impossible to score on him
If you want an example of a goalie who used to stand on his head, Dominik Hasek is a perfect example. He would lose his stick, be face down on the ground, and somehow still get a blocker up to stop the puck. In 1998, he led the Czech Republic to an Olympic gold medal with a 1-0 victory over Russia.
Getting into a fight
Playing the puck out of the crease

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21 - tilly time What happens when it's tilly time?
The game is over.
A fight
When it's tilly time, it's time to drop the gloves. You know, time to throw down or throw your mitts on the floor. When it's tilly time, it's time to stop chirping and get your hands up.
Your team loses.
A period ends.

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25 - Mr. Hockey Which of these players is 'Mr. Hockey'?
Mario Lemieux
Sidney Crosby
Bobby Orr
Gordie Howe
Gordie Howe played 26 years in the NHL and played his last season when he was 51. What's even more impressive is that he also played in the WHA hockey league from 1973-1979, which means his professional hockey career spanned 32 years.

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7 - sin-bin If you get a penalty, where do you go?
The sin-bin
The sin-bin is a humorous name for the penalty box. However, there's no shame in spending some time in the box. Even Sidney Crosby spent 36 minutes in the sin-bin last season. The NHL record for a season is Dave Schultz with 472 minutes.
The wheelhouse
Coast to coast
The fishbowl

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2 - dirty dangle If somebody says they just a saw a "dirty dangle," what did they witness?
An awesome deke
Dangling is another word for deking, which refers to fooling the other team's goalie or defensemen with a series of fake movements. If you have trouble picturing it, just look at Ovechkin's highlight reel.
A great save
A sick goal
A big fight

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4- beaver tap If you want your teammate to pass you the puck, which of the following do you do?
Burger
Beaver tap
To beaver tap: to tap your stick on the ice to make a sound like a beaver slapping his tail against the water. It's a great way to let your teammate know you're open, but you should never beaver tap unless you're really in the clear.
Chuck thunder
Clap bombs

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8 - Gordie Howe hat trick What do you have to do in order to get a Gordie Howe hat trick?
Get into a two-minute penalty, get a five-minute penalty, score a goal
Score a goal, block a shot, get into a fight
Score a goal, get an assist, get into a fight
The Gordie Howe hat trick is named from Gordie Howe's ability to do everything: score, set up a teammate or hold his own in a fight when necessary. Gordie Howe scored two of these hat tricks in his career.
Score three goals

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33 - puck Which of these is NOT another name for the puck?
The basket
All of these terms may be slang for the puck except for basket. The basket is the thing that you shoot the biscuit into. "I had a breakaway and went top shelf to put the biscuit in the basket."
The rubber patty
The biscuit
The disc

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30 - howitzer What else can you call a hard slap shot?
A gongshow
A twig
A snip
A howitzer
There are few things in hockey that are more fun to watch than an Al MacInnis slap shot from the blue line. Zdeno Chara holds the NHL Skills Competition record for hardest shot at 108.8mph.

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6 - going tape to tape What does going 'tape to tape' mean?
Scoring a game-winner
Completing a perfect pass
Going tape to tape means making a pass perfectly from the tape of your stick to the tape of your teammate's stick. Of course, you could also go tape to tape with a player on the other team, but you'll probably get benched if that happens.
Taping your stick like a candy cane all the way down
Skating from one end of the rin to the other

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9 - hoser Which of these people would be a hoser?
A player with a playoff beard
A player on the winning team
A goalie
A player on the losing team
In the early days of hockey, the losing team would hose down the ice at the end of the game to smooth out the ice for the next game. The expression has stuck, and it still refers to a loser or player on the losing team.

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10 - babysitter The best player on a team is playing with one player who can barely skate and one player that hasn't got a goal all season. Who's the babysitter?
The player who hasn't scored
The coach
The star
When a star player is put on the same line as two weak players, he's known as the babysitter. They are responsible for making things happen. Their list of responsibilities includes back-checking, scoring, and being their own playmaker.
The player that barely skates

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26 - The Show When you play in 'The Show,' where are you playing?
In the playoffs
In net
In the NHL
It's every hockey players dream to play in the show. The odds of a young player playing minor league hockey ever making it to the NHL is about 1 in 4,000. It's not as difficult as winning the lottery, but it's difficult enough that you shouldn't bank on it as a career choice.
On the first line

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34 - sieve What do you call a goalie who lets up a ton of goals in one game?
A sieve
A sieve is a mesh cooking utensil used to strain out water through a series of tiny holes. A sieve goaltender is so bad that it seems like he's full of holes. "We scored seven goals on the other team's sieve."
A fiver
A muffin
A gino

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17 - scoring short side Scoring short side means you scored on which side of the net?
Going between the goalie's legs
Scoring on the side closest to the shooter
Scoring short side refers to scoring on the side of the net that requires the shortest shot, which is the side closest to where you're shooting from. However, this term is often mistakingly used to mean scoring on the side of the goalie's blocker.
Scoring stick side
Scoring on the side opposite to the shooter

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3 - bar down Going bar down, bar south for the holidays, and bar dizzle all mean scoring in which way?
Banking the puck off the crossbar
Half the fun of hockey slang is trying to figure out how the expression came to be. It's not too had to follow the train of thought on this one. Imagine a slapshot from the blue line that hits the bottom part of the crossbar before going in.
Hitting the post and in
Going five-hole
Going backhand

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27 - brain bucket Which of the following is another word for your helmet?
Brain bucket
Brain buckets became mandatory in the NHL in the 1979-1980 season. The rule only applied to new players who entered the league, so the last player to go helmetless was in the 1996-1997 season.
Waffle
Basket
Howitzer

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28 - rag the puck Which of these means to hang onto the puck during the final minutes of the game?
Rag the puck
If you rag the puck, you're just trying to wind down the clock with a lead. It's basically a form of keep-away. Although it's usually effective, occasionally teams get too protective and end up losing the game because they stop trying to sore.
Waffle-board
Tripod
Fan the puck

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13 - pylon A pylon refers to an orange cone, but what else can it refer to?
The opposing team's goalie
The referee
A defenseman that gets dangled
Imagine one of those dangles so dirty that the defenseman looks like they need to go back to peewee. The defenseman essentially becomes a pylon that sits on the ice and doesn't move, which is how this expression got its name.
The faceoff circle

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20 - apple Which of these is slang for an assist?
A waffle
A saucer
A barn
An apple
If you spend enough time around hockey players, you'll eventually hear them called an assist an apple. "He finished the game with two goals and a pair of apples." The origin of this expression isn't as obvious as some of them on this list. Likely, the two words just sound similar.

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5 - big shipment of icing coming Finish the following expression: "Open the bakery doors boys ..."
He just went top cheddar.
It's time to clap bombs.
Here comes a top door missy.
There's a big shipment of icing coming.
You might say this hilarious expression to your teammate when the other team shoots the puck down the ice. Of course, icing is when one side shoots the puck down the ice from behind the centerline.

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11 - bender Which of these players is a bender?
A player who can barely skate
A bender refers to a player who is such a lousy skater that it looks like their skates aren't tied tight enough because their ankles bend inwards. Each team usually has at least one bender, but what they lack in speed, they have to make up for with either their ability to fight or shoot.
A player who just scored a hat trick
A player who set-up a game-winning goal
A goalie

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15 - pigeon What is a player who relies on others to score garbage goals known as?
Grinder
Pigeon
The best way for somebody to score when they don't have much of a shot or much playmaking ability is to try to bang one in from in front of the net. Like pigeons in the park eat mostly bread crumbs and scraps, pigeons on the ice rely on others to do most of the hard work.
Plug
Lip lettuce

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12 - grocery stick Which of these could you call a player who spends most of his time on the bench?
A grocery stick
When you go to the grocery store, there's usually a grocery stick between your items and the person in front of you's items. A hockey grocery stick is a person who spends most of the game on the bench.
A goon
A beauty
A flamingo

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24 - grinder Which of the following is another word for 'grinder'?
Stay-at-home defenseman
Butterfly
Plumber
A plumber isn't the most highly skilled player on the ice, but he works hard and does the work that most guys don't want to do. You can find a plumber on the third or fourth line, and they usually get limited playing time.
Waffle

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14 - windmill save A windmill save involves what?
The goalie does the splits.
The goalie makes a high glove save and the momentum sends his legs in the air.
The goalie stacks his pads in the air.
If you need help picturing what a windmill save would look like, just look up a clip of Dominik Hasek in his prime. This type of save gets its name from the goalie spinning his pads in the air like the blades of a windmill.
The goalie makes a high blocker save and loses his stick.

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You Got:
/35

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