Hockey Lingo

If you’re new to hockey and have trouble keeping up with a conversation because you’re confused by the slang, here’s a guide to help you.

Bar Down: When the puck hits the bottom of the crossbar and falls across the line for a goal.

Barnburner: A fast-paced, high-scoring, exciting hockey game.

Bucket: Another term for helmet.

Celly: Slang for “celebration” and refers to the expression of joy after a player scores a goal; a celly comes in many forms and can range from a fist pump to sheathing a stick as if it were a sword to belly-sliding across the ice. The degree of celly is typically correlated to the importance of the goal.

Crease: Refers to the blue semi-circle directly in front of the net and goal line where the goaltender defends. Because the area is marked by blue paint, it is also referred to as “the paint.”

Flex: A measure of stiffness when force is applied to a hockey stick. Flex rating indicates how many pounds of force are necessary to bend a stick one inch. The higher the flex rating, the stiffer the stick.

Iron: The red pipes that comprise the frame of the net. If a puck deflects off this area it is said a player “hit the iron.”

Natural Hat Trick: When a player scores three consecutive goals in a game; the slang term is “natty hatty.”

Pylon: A player – typically a defenseman – that is extremely slow on the ice and the opposition can easily skate around.

Saucer Pass: An elevated pass; typically used to evade an opposing player’s stick blocking the on-ice passing lane.

Twig: Another term for a hockey stick that refers to the era when sticks were made from wood. Today’s sticks are made of carbon fiber and graphite, which are lighter, more flexible materials.

Wheels: A player’s speed and skating ability. A fast and agile player has “good wheels.”


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