The Ultimate Guide To Hockey Slang

Hockey is a fast-paced game where it’s hard to communicate with other players. For that purpose, NHL players use slang to communicate. Not all the players in hockey teams are native, each team has some overseas players that are bilingual or trilingual. But on the ice, all players use only slang which becomes the only native language for the players on the ice. 

So, you might have listened to players on the ice uses short word codes, but you don’t what it means. So, here is the list of the most common slang used in ice hockey. 

Top 100 Hockey Slang


Apple: An assist


Bar Down: A shot that goes through the bar and into the net.

Barn: The arena where hockey is played

Barnburner: A game with a lot of lead changes and a high scoring

Bender: When a skater’s ankles bend while skating

Beauty: A goal or play of exceptional quality

Biscuit: It’s a hockey puck

Blades of Steel: One of the earlier hockey video games released in 1987/88

Bottle Rocket: When a goal is scored after hitting the goalkeeper’s water bottle

Brawl: A fight that involves more than one player

Brick Wall: A goalkeeper who makes incredible saves, and can’t get beat

Broadway Blueshirts: The New York Rangers are known as Broadway Blueshirts

Bucket: The helmet of an ice hockey player

Buds: The nickname given to the Toronto Maple Leafs

Buzzer Beater: An undisputed goal just before the period ends


Cage: The mask of a goalkeeper

Caps: Washington Capitals are known as the Caps

Celly: To celebrate something. Aim, score, celebrate could also be said to go with Dangle, Snipes, or Celly

Charleston Chiefs: From the movie Slapshot, the team name

Cheap-shot Artist:  A player who often injures teammates through dirty plays

Cheese: An overhead goal

Cherry picking: When a player stays up in the offensive zone attempting to get a pass instead of helping his teammates

Chiclets: Those missing teethes (hockey players lose a lot of them!)

Chirping: Disrespecting your opponent

Clapper: A term used to describe the slapshot

Coast to Coast: Skating from one end to the other of the rink while holding the puck

Related Post: List of 50+ Ice Hockey Goalie Terms and Definitions


Dangle: Deke

Denied: A goalkeeper’s acknowledgment of a successful save

Desert Dogs: The Arizona Coyotes are known as Desert Dogs

Disk: The puck

Duster: A player who sat on the bench and didn’t play much


Enforcer: A player assigned to be the main fighter on the team


Face Wash: Touching another player’s face with your glove (typically sweaty)

Fake: The act of deceiving someone by having the puck appeared to be going one direction and then going the opposite

Fan (Fanned): A player who misses the puck on the way to shooting it

Filthy: A tremendous deke, fake, or goal

Firewagon Hockey: A sport that emphasizes offensive play, offensive opportunities, and little defensive work

Five Hole: When a goalie is going to the floor, a hole opens up between his pads. This is how he scored!

Flamingo: A player who blocks a shot only lifts one leg making them appear as if they’re flamingos

Flash the Leather: An outstanding glove stop by a goalie

Flow: Referring to the appearance of hockey hair flowing from the back of the helmet


Garbage Goal: An unattractive, often bouncing goal that occurs within a couple of feet of the goal and is often the result of a player’s deflection or rebound

Gino: A goal

Give-and-Go: A technique in which a teammate passes the puck to another player and he receives it back in order to beat the opposition

Goon: A player that primarily fights for the team

Goose Egg: A goalkeeper who gets a shutout while allowing zero goals

Gordie Howe Hat Trick: A game in which a player scores a goal, assists a teammate, and fights the other team

Grapes: Don Cherry’s nickname during his time as a host of Hockey Night in Canada

Great One: Wayne Gretzky’s nickname

Greasy: Unattractive or messy goals

Grinders: Just like a grinder, the chief purpose of a forward is to hit and check, rather than score goals


Handcuffed: A player who does not seem to be able to score despite many chances to do so

Hanging from the Rafters: One of the retired jersey numbers of a player who has previously graced the rafters of the home arena is displayed there

Hanson Brothers: The Charleston Chiefs hockey players in the film Slapshot

Holy Grail: Another name for the Stanley Cup

Hot Dog: An opponent who tries to show up

Howitzer: Quite a difficult shot


Insurance Goal: Setting an objective to increase the volume of leads you receive so that you have more room to maneuver

Related Post: The Top 10 Greatest American Hockey Players


Jarring Hit: When another player is left shaken by a hit

Johnny-on-the-spot: A player who scores at the right time while being at the right place at the right time

Journeyman: A player who has had a long, varied career that has involved playing for a variety of teams


Knuckle Puck: A puck that, when shot, flips over and curls in the air instead of flying in a straight line


Lamplighter: A player who plays well and gives more scores on the board. With his scores, the scoreboard light illuminate many times. 

Laser Beam: A direct shot that is directed directly in the direction it was intended

Laying on the Lumber: A player who slashes another with his stick another player while laying on the lumber. Since hockey sticks used to be made of wood in the past, it derives from the history of hockey

Light the goal: Someone who lights the lamp is encouraged to score. The key is to reach the goal and turn on the goal light

Lumber: Wooden sticks from old hockey games were called lumber when they were called sticks


Manhandle: This is an offense that may not bring a penalty for a player who roughs up another player

Mitts: A person whose hands are nice and who scores easily

Muffin: That shot was awful


Nail: A body check delivered with extreme force

Nosebleeds: In a hockey stadium, nosebleeds are the seats near the top of the field


Office: Wayne Gretzky was known to set up his office behind the goalie’s net while he was playing behind the net.


Paint: A different color from the ice, which is why it is called the goalie crease

Pest: Someone who causes extreme frustration for opponents

Picking his Pocket: The term is used when a player tries to steal his opponent’s puck

Pipe: A goalpost’s nickname is Pipe

Pritch: A term defined by NHL rules as to when a defenseman enters the offensive zone in order to help the forwards

Playoff Beard: This is a tradition in which players grow a beard until the Stanley Cup playoffs have been completed or they win the championship

Plug: An ineffective player who does not add value too much to the team

Plumber: A player who digs pucks out of corners

Preds: The Nashville Predators’ nickname

Puck Bunny: A girl who hangs out with hockey players

Puck Has Eyes: When the puck deflects a few times before it goes into the net for a goal

Puck Hog: A player who refuses to pass the puck to another player

Puck Luck: A lucky bounce of the puck that is a sudden goal opportunity for the team

Puckhead: A hockey enthusiast

Pylon: A player who can skate easily around the ice (usually a defenseman)


Razor Sharp: An outstanding player at his best

Riding the Pine: Sitting on the bench without playing time

Right in the Numbers: Hit from behind by a teammate

Ring it off the Iron: An iron is rung off when the puck hits the post and does not enter the net

Rink Rat: A person who enjoys hanging out at hockey arenas

Ripple the Mesh: A result of shooting a puck and scoring so that the net moves during the shot

Rob (of a Goal): The act of a goalkeeper preventing what appears to be an easy goal

Roof: The mesh at this location is exposed when the puck hits the top of the net

Rubber: Vulcanized rubber made into a puck


Sens: Ottawa Senators’ nickname

Sharpshooter: Someone who shoots with a great deal of accuracy and scores many goals

Shinny Hockey: A type of ice hockey played on an outdoor rink in which players do not wear protective padding so that the puck cannot be raised above the players’ shins

Sick Bay: A place where a player goes for treatment when injured (he goes to sickbay) or to get examined for injuries (he goes to sickbay).

Sieve: Specifically, it refers to a sieve that drains the water from a goalkeeper that is incapable of making a save

Sin Bin: A penalty box

Snow Job: When the goaltender lowers himself to the ice and a player sprays snow in his face

Soft Hands: Someone who is adept at converting goals with finesse rather than power

Spin-o-Rama: An action in which players perform a 360-degree spin to get around their opponent

Stand on His Head: A goalkeeper who makes many saves while keeping his team in the game is considered to be standing on his head

Stone Hands: An inability to score goals is called a stone hand. Chances are there for him to score, but he can’t make it happen.


Tic-tac-toe: A play involving three passes that end in a goal

Top Shelf: One of the ways a player scores is to hit the mesh lining of the net when he scores in hockey

Turtle: A player who dives into the ice to defend himself from another player when another is attempting to attack him


Uncork: the act of winding up and taking a powerful shot


Wheels: A skater who is fast


Yard Sale: When several pieces of equipment are lost during play, either accidentally or through hitting

Yawning Cage: When the goalie is in goal but the play appears to be conducive to a goal, this is often referred to as a wide-open net


Zebra: Referees are nicknamed Zebras because of their white and black uniforms

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