The Ultimate Guide To Hockey Slang

The Ultimate Guide To Hockey Slang
Photo: © Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports
"All hockey players are bilingual. They know English and profanity."

That came straight from the mouth of Gordie Howe, himself.

Since then, the game has transformed in almost every way imaginable. Players from overseas are ultimately bilingual, trilingual, quadrilingual or something even more impressive. But on the ice, your native tongue is replaced with slang, a whole other language of its own.

Slang of course stems from excluding outsiders by using words and phrases only those on the "in" know. That means you're here for a reason.

Maybe you want to be on the "in" and understand more of what your favorite players and announcers are actually saying. Maybe you're a parent and you just want to know what your kid and his team are blathering about half the time. Maybe you want to know what your team is blathering about.

Well, whatever brought you here, below you'll find the guide to some of hockey's most common slang and terminology. Enjoy. 

A

Apple: an assist

B

Bar down: when the puck goes in the net off the bottom of the crossbar
Barn: an arena rink
Barn burner: a high-scoring game
Bender: a badly skating player whose ankles bend beneath him
Beauty: a pretty play 
Biscuit: the puck
Bottle rocket: when a goal breaks the goalies water bottle
Breakaway: when a player has the puck and an open skating lane to the net with no one in front of him
Bucket: a helmet

C

Celly: a celebration after a goal
Cheese: the top shelf of the net (see, top cookies)
Chel: the EA Sports NHL video game
Cherry picker: a player who stands behind the opposing teams defense in hopes for a breakaway
Chiclets: teeth
Chirp: when you talk trash to opposing players
Clapper: a slapshot
Coast to coast: taking the puck all the way down the ice
Crossbar: the post that runs along the top of the net

D

Dangle: a deke
Dirty: used to describe an incredible deke or pass (see, filthy)
Duster: a player who doesn't play much and "collects dust" on the bench

F

Face wash: when you shove your glove into an opponents face
Filthy: also used to describe an incredible deke or pass
Fishbowl: a full face shield
Five-hole: the area between a goalie's legs
Flamingo: when a player lifts his leg to avoid blocking a shot
Flow: long hair (see, lettuce)

G

Garbage: referring to the puck when there is a rebound, picking up the garbage means putting the rebound in the net
Gino: a goal
Gongshow: when a game that is getting out of control, possibly from the score, a lot of fights or big hits
Goon: a player whose only talent is fighting, usually to keep the teams best players safe
Gordie Howe hat trick: when a player scores a goal, adds an assist and gets in a fight in one game
Grinder: a lesser-skilled player who is meant to hit and agitate the opposing players 
Grocery stick: the player who separates the offense from the defense on the bench


H

Hands: refers to a player who has good stickhandling and often dangles opposing players
Hoser: another term for loser, derived from the when the losing team would hose down the ice before the invention of the Zamboni

J

Junction: the corner of the goal where the crossbar and post meets (also referred to as the "junk")

K

Kronwalled: a big hit a defenseman lays on a player attempting to carry the puck out of his zone, derived from Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall who is famous for this type of hit


L

Lettuce: hair, including both on the head and facial hair (see, lip lettuce)
Light the lamp: scoring a goal 
Lip lettuce: a mustache
Lumber: a hockey stick, derived from when sticks were made of wood (see, twig)

M

Mitts: hockey gloves

O

ODR: an outdoor rink (see, pond)
Open ice hit: a big hit on that happens away from the boards 

P

Pigeon: a player who can't score on his own and relies on other to feed him the puck or pick up the garbage 
Pipe: the goal post
Pinch: when a defenseman move into the offensive zone in attempt to keep the puck inside the zone
Plug: a useless player, derived from when a removable extension for a composite stick
Playoff beard: when players stop shaving during the playoffs
Point: a defenseman in the offensive zone
Pond: where players play outdoors in the winter
Pylon: a slow defenseman that often gets skated around

S

Sauce: a pass that leaves the ice to make it more difficult for opposing players to intercept
(The) Show: the NHL
Silky: used to describe a smooth occurrence such as a play or a player's hands 
Stripes: the referee
Sieve: a bad goalie, often referred to as full of holes
Sin bin: the penalty box
Slot: the high-scoring area in front of the net
Snipe: a perfectly placed shot
Stack the pads: when a goalie lays on his side and puts his pads on top of each other to make a save
Stay at home defenseman: a defenseman who is strong in his own zone but not particularly good in the offensive zone
Stoned: when a goalie makes a great save
Suicide pass: when a player receives a pass that puts him in danger of immediately receiving a hard hit
Sweater: a hockey jersey

T

Tape to tape: a pass that perfectly lands on your teammate's blade
Tic-tac-toe: refers to a quick passing play that results in a goal
Toe drag: when a player uses the end of his blade to dangle the opposition
Top cookies: top shelf (where grandma hides the cookies)
Trapezoid: the area behind the net where a goalie is allowed to play the puck
Turtle: when a player completely covers himself up as to not be involved in a fight
Twig: a hockey stick, also derived from when they used to be made of wood

W

Wheel: refers to a players strong skating, in addition to picking up girls
Wraparound: when a player takes the puck around the back of the net and tries to score in one full motion

​What are your favorite hockey slang terms? Share them with FloHockey on Facebook and Twitter!
Top
FloSports, Inc.

FloSports, an innovative sports media and events company, based in Austin, Texas, is the authentic source for content and a new world of coverage that true fans have been waiting for. Focused on three areas – live competition and coverage, original content, and owned and operated events – the company takes fragmented communities and provides them the platform to connect with the sports they love.

Learn More at FloSports.tv