By Kate Crowder
A Newcomer’s Guide to NHL Hockey – Caps Style
You know the story. Hi Caps Fans. My name is Kate Crowder, and I cover the Capitals for DCSportsFan.com. But down the stretch here, I’m also going to be contributing to some of the blogs and content on the Scarlet Caps website. As a female working in hockey, and certainly as a female fan myself, I often feel that the female voice is very rarely represented honestly in hockey. I’m happy to say however that as the world of new media expands, there have been more avenues than ever before to showcase the female hockey fan – perhaps as rare as we are. Club Scarlet is one such avenue, and here, it seems to be that we have a real melding of women who are not just new to hockey, but women who are lifelong fans and experts, as well as women interested in exploring all aspects of the NHL world. It is my hope that I will be able to contribute to this melting pot in my own way, bringing you my insight and experience gained through covering the team, from upstairs in the press box to downstairs in the locker room. Follow me on Twitter at @katec0223 for game updates, and as always, check out my gamers at DCSportsFan.com, under Pro Sports.
But, for my first blog entry, I wanted to address a particular set of questions I have had from some of my female readers who are new to hockey. As you may know, or may have garnered from reading my intro to yesterday’s gamer, hockey is a world full of interesting and sometimes unexplainable terminology and slang. For instance, what’s a rushing blueliner – see, not exactly self-explanatory, right? And 26.3%, well, I don’t know about you, but in school, that would have been a failing grade, yes? And that stat ranks the Caps power play first overall? Well, dear friends, I’ve decided to take some time to explain some of these oddities of the hockey world, and to put together a little glossary of hockey terms and phrases used by writers, broadcasters, coaches and of course players. And I do speak some Russian, so I’ll include some Russian phrases here and there – after all, have to represent. J Today, I’ll just give a little preview of some of my favorites (you’ve got to love a sport where ‘lay on the body’ is a legitimate term, right?), but hopefully this will break down into a few entries. Enjoy ladies!
Biscuit (n.) – slang term for the puck, as in a ‘bouncing biscuit’ or ‘Alex Ovechkin scored his 234th goal on the year, sending a blazing biscuit upstairs to put the Caps up by a score of 52-3.’ Nice. Interesting fact: pucks are made of vulcanized rubber and are frozen before game time. Not so interesting/an already well known fact: it hurts to be hit with one of these. A lot.
Chirp, To (v.)
– to complain, usually in the sense of complaining to the referees. Hmm, who’s famous for doing that again? Oh right…
Cookie Shelf (n.)
– more commonly known as ‘top shelf’ Refers to the top 4th of the net over and behind the goaltender’s shoulder where skilled players have a knack for shooting the puck. Usually translates to embarrassment for goaltenders.
– Iroquois word for an early version of field hockey that is supposedly the root of the modern word, hockey. Apparently it means ‘it hurts.’ Go figure.
Icing (touch and no-touch) (n.); Ice the puck, To (v.)
– I believe that there are only a very few number of people who know what this actually means and who can explain this in a logical way. And don’t bother to read the NHL rule book about icing either, it will only confuse you. Just remember that, if instance, Brooks Laich ‘iced the puck’ – meaning that he shot the puck, and it travelled uninterrupted all the way down from his end of the ice to other end of the ice, crossing the red line that serves as the goal line – the ref would blow the whistle, play would be stopped and the faceoff would come back to Brooksie’s end, in front of the Caps goaltender. But seriously, I still don’t really know what it means. Moving on.
Man Jewelry (n.)
– See S. Semin and A. Ovechkin. And possibly M. Green. Ever noticed the extensive number of chains around their necks? At any given time, there could be 2 or 47. It’s especially classy when a studded #28 or #8 hangs majorly out of their jerseys as they lean in to wait for the play. Class all the way.
Lay the body on, To (v. phrase)
– Quite possibly one of the best terms in the entirety of hockey. Essentially, this means to bodycheck, using physical play (such as ramming people into the boards…don’t you just LOVE hockey?) to wear down an opponent and thrown them off of potential scoring rushes.
– the centerman on any given line. Nick Backstrom, Super Swede, center extraordinaire.
Pre-Game Nap (n.)
– Again, a legitimate term. Hockey players need their rest too. Can’t complain when napping is essentially required of you to do your job properly. I definitely ended up in the wrong profession.
Suspension (n.); Suspend, To (v.)
– See M. Green and A. Ovechkin. A decision handed down from the NHL as a result of a player’s inability – either intended or unintended – to comply with NHL rules of play and in game regulations that protect the safety of everyone on the ice, resulting in a required absence from play for a specified, although typically short, period of time. Usually goes without pay. Which means Caps players have donated $98,844.16 plus $81,606.21 for grand total of $180,450.37 to the Player’s Emergency Fund this season. And it’s only February.
To be continued….GO CAPS!! -Kate
Twitter - @katec0223