Monday, February 19, 2007

Birth of an American Hockey Fan Week Four: Hockey Terminology and Slang

Biscuit in the basket
What it is, as I understand it:
Well, a goal.
How I learned about it: An afternoon spent combing through Wikipedia’s "hockey slang page". When I casually brought it up to a friend, I was informed that I am in no way qualified to offhandedly use the term, and my doing so would demean the sport.

Crease
What it is, as I understand it: The area around the goal.
How I learned about it: If you say the word "Hull" or anything phonetically similar to a Sabres fan, it triggers some sort of uncontrollable seizure in which the word "crease" makes an appearance or five, so you kind of pick it up.

Delayed penalty
What it is, as I understand it: Someone does something illegal, but not well enough that they actually gain possession.
How I learned about it: Through Ritch’s clenched teeth as he explained it to me for the fourth time. A good rule of thumb seems to be that if you have to ask what just happened, it was a delayed penalty.

Hand pass
What it is, as I understand it: Catching the puck.
How I learned about it: In wide-eyed awe. They never show that in the movies. It seems kind of a puss out. I bet the Russians don’t hand pass, and if they do, their coach makes them play without a mouthguard or something similarly toughening.

Icing
What it is, as I understand it: Apparently, if you’re going to hit the puck really far away, it’d better go into the goal. That’s all I got so far.
How I learned about it: If anyone reads the above explanation and genuinely believes that I fully grasp icing, then I am officially playing "the blind" to your "the blind".

Long change
What it is, as I understand it:
During the second period, the goal switch means players have to skate further to make substitutions, so they get all tired-like.
How I learned about it: An elaborate table diorama involving various pieces of alcohol paraphanalia, set up in a sports bar by the Earl. An effective teaching technique if I’ve ever seen one.

Poke checking
What it is, as I understand it: Dude’s got the puck, someone tries to jab it away. Kinda the basis of the sport, really.
How I learned about it: The second installment of my "Use one new hockey term per game, then squeal with glee and solicit high fives all around" plan. It’s all very rugged.

Power play
What it is, as I understand it:
Simple addition. One team’s got more players on the ice than the other.
How I learned about it: Unlike the rest of hockey’s rules and quirks, Versus actually seems to want its viewers to be better informed when it comes to power plays, and they put a little digital notification beneath the score. It almost makes up for them showing that damn Ovechkin commercial so often.

2 comments:

Ben said...

Great post, Jen...the next step is to learn the difference between forechecking and backchecking.

Don't feel bad, though...many of the NHL's most highly paid players don't seem to know what forechecking is.

Rachael said...

Hopefully you got to see last night's Buffalo/Ottawa game. You can add Gong Show to you glossary now :)