Written by Heather Foley
So apparently last spring when I wrote my Ladies Guide to NHL Playoffs (http://tinyurl.com/oaus2ec), some of you thought I would actually explain the rules of hockey. BTW, if no one sent you the link congrats I guess – no one thinks you’re the type of a-hole who wears a bedazzled Bruins hat to a bar and talks some poor dude’s ear off, but you’re probably a different type of a-hole. I don’t know your life. Anyhoo, back to hockey. I don’t claim to have more than the most basic understanding of the game, which I am more than happy to share with you. And right in time for a new Bruins seasons, how lucky are you?
First things first, goals. Okay, so a hockey has a standard one point goal system. Get the puck in the net and it’s a goal. This isn’t football or quidditch, you don’t get different points for how you score, it’s simple.
What the heck is an icing? An icing happens when a player shoots the puck across both the center red line and the opposing team’s goal line. So basically shooting the puck 3/4s of the length of the ice. When there’s an icing, a linesman (yup, they’re not all referees) stops the play and there’s a face off in the zone of the offending team. The exception is if the team is shorthanded.
So what’s offsides then? If my team and your team are playing each other in a hockey game, the puck has to enter your zone before anyone from my team can enter your zone. Yes, there are nuances and it can be broken down into skate and puck positions and even player positions, but that’s the gist of it, and that’s really all you need. When there’s an offsides violation, a linesman stops the play and there’s a face off in the neutral zone closest to wherever the offsides was.
They can fight, right? Well, anyone can fight, this is a free country, but yes, fighting is tolerated in the NHL. The NHL doesn’t eject a player for a single fight (unless he does something extreme like takes his skate off and tries to stab someone with it). They are usually given a five minute major penalty. There are also rules about instigating and such, and there’s fight etiquette, and now there’s a new penalty to contend with. This year the NHL has a rule that if you remove your helmet before a fight, you get a two minute minor penalty. So seven minutes in the box for fighting now, ouch.
Blah, blah, blah, let’s have the scouting report, aka who is cute on the team. Last year we lost one of the hottest guys to ever grace the Boston sports scene, Andrew Ference. If you thought I was going to say Tyler Seguin, you don’t know me at all, and also you have awful taste in dudes. Ference left big skates to fill; I really feel there is no one in local pro sports who holds a candle to him. Seriously, is there anyone else who oozes sex like Ference? Nope, no one is even close. And hello the Red Sox wish they looked half as good with a beard as Ference, no offense guys. I guess it’s not all doom and gloom for the Bruins, I wouldn’t kick Thornton, McQuaid, or Bergeron out of bed for eating crackers, but overall I’m not excited. Yes, Loui Eriksson is handsome, but he has kind of an American Psycho look going on. I’m slightly worried he would chase me with a chainsaw while wearing nothing but white Reeboks. Basically I think we need to get Brian Boyle on the team to up the hotness factor, let’s make it happen.
Okay, I think that’s about it. Yeah, there’s more stuff, positions, lines, face offs, shoots outs, and such, but that’s all pretty self-explanatory. So now that you have the most basic of all knowledge about hockey, get out there tonight and watch the game! You’ll actually know what’s going on, the more you know….