[[quoteright:350:[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZR2MGFDTYE http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bobbyorr_6110.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Bobby Orr [[Film/TheMatrix doing his Superman thing]] after [[Awesome/RealLife scoring]] UsefulNotes/TheStanleyCup winning goal for the 1970 Boston Bruins.]]

->''"Hello UsefulNotes/{{Canada}} and hockey fans in UsefulNotes/TheUnitedStates and Newfoundland..."'' [[note]]Note that this is not a MyFriendsAndZoidberg joke, but rather during Hewitt's heyday, Newfoundland was a quasi-independent country; it didn't become a Canadian province until 1949.[[/note]]
-->--'''Creator/FosterHewitt''''s traditional opening lines for Series/HockeyNightInCanada.
%%% one quote per page,please

'''Ice hockey''', or just simply '''hockey''' [[note]]Note that in most countries outside North America, "hockey" refers to field hockey and "ice hockey" refers to ice hockey[[/note]], is to [[CanadaEh Canada]], many northern US states and much of northern Europe what Major League UsefulNotes/{{Baseball}} and the UsefulNotes/NationalBasketballAssociation and UsefulNotes/NationalFootballLeague are to the rest of the United States and UsefulNotes/AssociationFootball is to the rest of the world. It is an obsession, a [[SeriousBusiness religion]] that unifies Canadians of every race and colour. It is also Canada's official national winter sport.[[note]]Lacrosse, a native American game that's very similar to hockey -- including the reputation for brutality -- but without the ice, is the official national summer sport.[[/note]] Hockey's true origins are uncertain, but the most widely believed story is that the game was created by a group of [[UsefulNotes/{{Britain}} British]] colonists settling in Canada who were trying to create a winter version of rugby. Early versions of the game followed many of the offensive rules of rugby (no forward passes, a large number of players on the ice at once) with the goal-scoring of association football. Years later, the forward pass was added and hockey began to form its own identity, while the game began to grow in popularity throughout North America.

Worldwide, ice hockey is a popular sport in all those countries at Northern hemisphere which have [[CaptainObvious long and cold winters]]: such as Russia, Scandinavian countries, Finland, Baltic countries, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, France, Switzerland and Italy. Ice hockey is also strong in former USSR republics, such as Kazakhstan. All these countries have strong national ice hockey leagues, and Russia is the home for the multinational KHL (Kontinentalnyi Hokei Liga, "continental hockey league").

Before we get to the nitty-gritty, let's go over a few popular misconceptions first. In media, especially from places unfamiliar with the sport, ice hockey is often portrayed as a combination of ProfessionalWrestling and a pub brawl [-[[RecycledINSPACE ON ICE!]]-] that's only watched by maple syrup-drinking Canadians who riot whenever they lose. That's... Not really the case (for one thing there are a lot of rabid American hockey fans out there, especially in the honourary Canadian provinces of Minnesota, Alaska, and Michigan. For another, riots are atypical.) Although there is a grain of truth, as with all stereotypes:
* Hockey is a nationally engaging sport. Much like UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball and [[UsefulNotes/AssociationFootball soccer]], though, it also attracts those stereotypical college students who drink beer and riot after games. Even so, full-on riots are rare, and usually there are just loud parties that break out on (city name)'s main streets. There are some notable hockey-provoked riots (see the "Richard riot" in the SeriousBusiness article) but they prove to be the exception rather than the norm. The typical hockey-watching crowd in Canada are mostly families huddled around the television or a guy inviting his buddies over to watch the game (with or without alcohol.)
* Hockey is unashamedly a full-contact sport, and rough-housing with the intent of claiming possession of the puck, called "checking", is legal. (Note that in women's play, checking using any part of the body is illegal, though stick checks are legal, and checking of all types is very strictly monitored in children's leagues.) Checking opposing players who do not have the puck, however, will usually lead to an interference penalty. Likewise, checking someone into the walls of the arena means a penalty for boarding and the leagues are also cracking down on checks specifically targeting the head because of the career-ending injuries resulting from that. Obstructing the goaltender is also illegal, which will lead to an interference penalty and, if a goal was scored on the play, may cause the referee to wave off the goal.
* While officially against the rules, fighting is a completely normal and acceptable occurrence in the [[UsefulNotes/NationalHockeyLeague NHL]], with five-minute penalties (see the "Rules" section below) handed out to the fighters. The NHL is the only professional league in North America which does not automatically suspend players for fisticuffs. However, this only applies to the NHL and some Canadian minor leagues; at international tournaments, fighting is a ban-worthy offence, and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punch-up_in_Piestany occasionally]] entire teams can be banned if it turns into a bench-clearing brawl. KHL, the [[UsefulNotes/{{Russia}} Russian]] league, [[note]]Technically it's a Eurasian league, but most of the teams are from Russia.[[/note]] also allows fighting, but it's much less prevalent there, due to fighting being frowned upon in [[UsefulNotes/SovietRussiaUkraineAndSoOn Soviet]] times, which kind of set the tradition. In women's hockey, which has a no-contact policy, fighting also results in a multi-game ban, and possibly a life ban from the sport.
** When a fight breaks out in the NHL, play is stopped immediately while the players circle each other and duke it out (fights or pushing/shoving involving three or more players, however, are usually broken up by the referee before things get nasty.) The fight is supervised by the referee and linesmen, the latter of whom will step in when they feel the confrontation is beyond reasonable limits (however, they ''will'' allow the fight to progress for a variety of reasons, including not wanting to get hurt themselves. As long as both fighters have tacitly agreed to the fight, it ''will'' proceed until one is on the ice or they tire themselves out enough to not be able to continue.) After the fight is broken up, the offending players are given five minute penalties for fighting; in recent rule changes, an extra penalty will be given to the player who instigated the fight. If it's a mutual fight, it's just a five minute major for both.
** Contrary to most portrayals, however, mano-a-mano showdowns are often used strategically: while a fight can happen due to mutual animosity between players, they're far more likely to happen for other reasons[[note]]This is usually when you'll see a "pointless face-off", where the ref drops the puck and everyone ignores it because two guys on the ice are about to throw down, and everyone knows it, including the refs[[/note]] Coaches may send out "enforcers" (players who specialize in starting scraps) to provoke a fight if he feels his team's morale is low, believing that a good old-fashioned beatdown ''might'' cheer them up. Another example is the Edmonton Oilers during TheEighties taking advantage of the fighting penalty system at the time. The Oilers excelled at four-on-four play, and since fighting at the time forced both fighters into the penalty box with no substitutes, the Oilers would send out an enforcer like Marty [=McSorley=] to [[ThePlan start a fight with another player in order to force penalties and let their special teams go to work]], or even to tactically remove a specific opposing player from the game for a short amount of time. Enforcers are also used to act as a deterrent to being rough on the star player or goalies, anyone who hits them deals with the Enforcer.
** As briefly mentioned above, UsefulNotes/{{Olympic|Games}} and NHL playoff hockey games typically have less fighting in them. The reasons for this are a lot simpler than you'd think: [[FridgeBrilliance For all of the assumptions and rationalizations for fighting, a team would rather win the game than risk losing the game because of, or despite, fighting.]] Pointing this out to a very passionate hockey fan is [[BerserkButton not advised]]. Though if two teams hate one another enough or the competition is intense enough, fights are still likely to break out, particularly after the result of a game has become clear -- some of the largest bench-clearing brawls have been in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, resulting in literally hundreds of penalty minutes being handed out, with even goalies getting in on the action (keep in mind they are normally on opposite ends of the rink.) That being said, there are some players who simply don't fight; attacking these players can end in a team's BerserkButton being pushed [[note]]The famous Creator/WayneGretzky was perhaps the most famous such player: His passion was hockey, not fighting, and he would studiously avoid getting into a fight so much that despite his peerless playing ability, he was never confronted even ''once'' in his career. If he was treated a little too roughly, though, his teammates were always happy to duke it out on his behalf.[[/note]]
** Even under the NHL's more permissive rules on fighting, bench-clearing brawls are not tolerated. The first player to leave the bench in a brawl gets hit with a 10-game suspension and the rest get 5-game suspensions, in addition to whatever in-game penalty minutes are assigned.
*** While bench-clearing brawls aren't tolerated, it's still possible for the players on the ice to go at each other if there's a particularly egregious reason. When it gets bad enough for the ''goalies'' to stake out to the middle of the ice to face each other, there's a lot of ''bad'' blood getting resolved. These fights usually end with a wave of suspensions as well. [[note]]In one of the more embarrassing moments of hockey history, on January 18, 2014, the Calgary Flames and the Vancouver Canucks squared off at the beginning of the match: The puck was dropped, and the fight broke out immediately, resulting in hundreds of penalty minutes after ''two seconds'' of play, as well as several suspensions for unsportsmanlike conduct and fighting for the ridiculousness of starting a 10-man brawl literally the second the game started.[[/note]]

The UsefulNotes/NationalHockeyLeague (one of the oldest still-running leagues in sports) is currently the largest hockey league in the world, which as of the current 201718 season consists of 31 teams across North America (7 from Canada, 24 from the United States), with the most recent expansion being to UsefulNotes/LasVegas for 201718. There are also many important leagues in Europe, such as UsefulNotes/{{Germany}}'s ''Deutsche Eishockey Liga'', the [[UsefulNotes/{{Sweden}} Swedish]] Hockey League (formerly known as ''Elitserien'') and Russia's [[strike: Superleague]] ''Kontinental Hockey League'', but they usually sit in the NHL's humongous shadow. The dream of many, but not all, European players is to join the NHL, and if an NHL player is sent to a European league [[ReassignedToAntarctica it's considered a demotion]].

The NHL was formed in 1917 with five teams [[note]]Toronto Arenas, Ottawa Senators, Montréal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Quebec Bulldogs[[/note]]. Three of these teams -- and four of the seven expansion teams to come in the '20s -- dissipated and by 1942, there were officially six NHL teams (commonly referred to as [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin The Original Six]] [[note]]Presumably in contrast to the Expansion Six, who entered together in 1967; it's otherwise something of a misnomer, since the only teams in that group who were part of the ''original'' NHL were the Montréal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs (who were called the Arenas at the time)[[/note]]: The Toronto Maple Leafs, Montréal Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers and Boston Bruins. Following the 196667 season, the league expanded to 12 teams and over several decades reached the 31-team mark that stands today.

The NHL championship trophy is UsefulNotes/TheStanleyCup, one of the oldest and most prestigious trophies in all of sports. In [[FanNickname the Cup]]'s early days (starting from the Cup's creation until 1912) any team could challenge the current champions to a showdown for the Cup, provided the opposing team could make the trip there of course. Eventually, two leagues, the precursor National Hockey Association (NHA) [[note]]Owners of the original NHL teams were all in the NHA, except for the Toronto Arenas owner. The NHL itself was created as a legal means to remove the NHA's Toronto owner, who was loathed by the rest of the owners, from the league[[/note]] and the Pacific Coast Hockey League (PCHL), [[note]]created and run by "the godfather of hockey", Lester Patrick, who created many significant rules such as forward passing, the blue and red lines, identifying numbers and the idea of "playoffs" as well as designing and funding the first indoor hockey arena[[/note]] took ownership of the Cup with the winner of each league playing for the Cup every year. The NHL began to form into a superior league, however, and the PCHL, which by then was known as the Western Hockey League, or WHL, suffered financially from lack of quality players and eventually folded, making the NHL the de facto owner of the Cup. This became de jure in 1947 when the NHL legally purchased the Cup. A modern NHL regular season lasts 82 games, with a 16-team playoff season. In recent changes, the league has been divided into four divisions (Pacific, Central, Metropolitan and Atlantic Divisions) with the top three teams in each division and the next top-2 "wild card" teams in the East (Metropolitan and Atlantic) and the West (Pacific and Central) Conferences combined qualifying for the playoffs. The division leader with the most points plays the lower wild card seed, while the other leader plays the first wild card seed, while the 2nd and 3rd place teams play each other. Each round is a best-of-seven series, with teams competing exclusively in their respective divisions before meeting in the semi-finals and then for the Cup. The final two teams play one last best-of-seven round for the Stanley Cup. The Stanley Cup is unique among the major pro sports leagues' trophies in that there's only ''one'' Stanley Cup [[note]]Well, technically there's three of them; the retired original Cup at the Hockey Hall of Fame, the "authenticated" presentation Cup that replaced it, and the official replica Cup that's displayed at the Hall of Fame when the "authenticated" Cup is unavailable.[[/note]], rather than a new trophy that's made each year and permanently awarded to the the league champion. Winning the Stanley Cup Playoff gives a team possession of the trophy for one year, and the name of the winning team along with its owner, coaches and players [[note]]the latter of which have a set of game played limits, though teams can apply for exceptions; the most noteworthy is Denis Savard's addition to the 1993 Montreal Canadiens inscription after missing almost all the season due to injury[[/note]] are inscribed on the trophy. Originally, whenever the trophy ran out of room for team engravings, a new band was added to the bottom. But eventually this led to a truly enormous trophy and the NHL realized it would at some point get too big for a man lift. So now it's limited to 5 bands (each with room for 13 championship teams), and whenever the bottom band is filled, the top band gets removed to the Hall of Fame and a new bottom band is added, maintaining the now-standard size of the Cup.

'''Hockey: The Rules'''\\
Unfortunately, hockey is subject to lots of ArtisticLicenseSports in the media, so here's an overview.

Ice hockey plays like a smaller version of soccer (score more points than your opponent, etc.,) although there are many key differences. Each match lasts 60 minutes, which are further divided into three 20-minute "periods" with a small break (usually 10-15 minutes) between each period. Unlike field hockey and most other sports which use a rounded ball, the hockey "puck" is a thick, vulcanized rubber disc 3 inches (7.6 centimetres) in diameter. [[note]]Many hockey matches in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century ''were'' played with a rubber ball, but the results were [[HilarityEnsues not exactly ideal]].[[/note]]

The are five positions in hockey:
* The '''centre''' is a hard position to explain. A good comparison is to the midfield position in soccer; they are forwards, but are expected to come back and help defend your side, usually covering the opposing player in front of the net. Also responsible, in most cases, for taking "faceoffs" (described below), a specialized skill. May be the team leader and is often the captain. [[note]]Like in other sports, the captain is the official "leader" of the team, being the go-to-guy for media interviews and the expected emotional sparkplug both in the dressing room and on the playing surface. They are also among the only players (along with associate captains) that can discuss rule interpretations with officials. This is why goaltenders are barred from officially being named captain, as it would require the goalie to constantly chase down officials after the play all over the rink[[/note]]
* The centre has a '''left wingman''' and '''right wingman''' (or '''left wing'''/'''right wing''' for short) on either side who along with center bring the puck up the ice, and score.[[note]]The three are, collectively, known as "forwards"[[/note]] They score most of the goals for the team, with the center usually assisting them.
* '''Defencemen''' are usually slower, tougher players whose job is to stop the opponent from scoring. If you hear someone yelling for the D to get back to the net, that'd be them. Some also act as a second wave of offense (usually unofficially labeled [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin "offensive defencemen"]]), and score a lot more often than in other sports. [[note]]This wasn't always the case. From the beginnings of modern hockey until the 1970s, there was at most a couple defensemen around the league every generation who would score even semi-regularly, such as Eddie Shore and Doug Harvey. Then Bobby Orr showed up and not only produced well above even the most offensive defensemen prior but even matched the highest scoring forwards of his day, being the only defenseman to ever win the Art Ross Trophy for most points in a season, doing so twice. Since then, every team in the league has constantly had at least a pair of defensemen who acquire points at rates comparable to an average forward.[[/note]]
* The '''goaltender''', or "goalie", defends his goal and is the last line of defense preventing the puck from going into the net. The goalie is the only member of the team who has special equipment; his legs have large pads, he has a catching glove in his strong hand and a rectangular "blocker" on his off-hand [[note]]Most goalies have their stick and the blocker on the right hand, and the catching glove on the left. Notable "full right" goaltenders (which have the catching glove on the right) are Rick [=DiPietro=] and Tomá Vokoun. Also, there's a few historical exceptions, such as [[http://www.hhof.com/htmlSpotlight/spot_oneononep196402.shtml Bill Durnan]], who was ambidextrous, and [[http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/columns/story?id=1989377 Dan Blackburn]], who suffered a serious nerve injury to his catching hand rendering it useless, who used two of the same hand equipment[[/note]]. He also wears a specially hardened face mask. He is the only player that ''cannot be hit'' on the ice: Hitting him is an interference penalty [[note]]This is because, for the size and strength of their equipment, they're still designed to take the impact of a small rubber disc, not a 200+ pound human being[[/note]]. Nevertheless, the idea of the other team trying to interfere with the goalie and get away with it (the refs can't catch everything) is often what sparks roughhousing, at least in the NHL, as the other players will skate up to protect their man (though a few goalies don't mind getting rough themselves -- see Ron Hextall and Patrick Roy[[note]] (Pronounced "Rwah" {he is French Canadian}, not "Roy" like in, say, ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros''. Also, in Roy case, his rough tendencies unfortunately extend beyond the rink.)[[/note]])

There are also multiple positions for Officials:
* The '''referee''' oversees the action, enforces the game rules and gives out penalties (punishments for infractions.) There are two referees in every NHL match (until recently there was only one.) He is typically marked by wearing the traditional striped shirt with orange armbands.
* Two '''linesmen''' enforce the offside rules and have the power to stop the play due to "icing" (both of which are explained below.) They are also responsible for breaking up scuffles and fights between players. As such, the size and fitness of linesmen has increased considerably recently. They wear the same uniform as referees, but without the orange armband.
* A '''timekeeper''' who controls the scoreboard clock(s), who sits off the ice between the two penalty boxes.
* Higher level leagues often time have separate '''video review officials''' as well, either in the rink, or, as in the case with the NHL, at a central location watching the video feeds from the arena. In either case, the referees use a phone located at the timekeeper's table to communicate with the video reviewer on issues regarding whether a puck fully crossed the goal line, possible timing issues, or other calls subject to replay. The NHL's operations centre is in Toronto (not at the league's business offices in New York), which is why announcers will talk about refs being on the phone to Toronto during a video review.
* Before video replay technology was implemented in most organized leagues, a '''goal judge''' would be employed to sit right behind the goal nets at either end of the rink and whose only job was to inform the referee whether the puck had completely crossed the line [[note]]The referee still was the only one empowered to decide whether the puck entered the net ''legally''[[/note]], usually by activating the red goal light switch that he controlled. They were generally not dressed in uniforms, so although they were employed well into the 1990s by most leagues, including the NHL, they aren't easy to spot in video footage.

The following list uses National Hockey League rules, although internationally there are some differences (rink size, penalty tolerance, overtime regulations and such:)
* The clock runs continuously until a goal is scored, the puck is sent out of play or a infraction (like grabbing the puck with your glove [[note]]Although it is permitted to smack an airborne puck to the ground since using one's stick to do so is a different penalty[[/note]]) is committed, wherein the referee or linesmen blows his whistle to indicate a stoppage in play. This is referred to as a "whistle" and is also used as a verb ("And the play is whistled dead as the puck sails into the home team's bench.")
* A goal is most commonly scored by shooting the puck with the stick, it can however be scored with basically any body part, as long as it's unintentional. The most notable example are skate deflections, as a goal is disallowed when the puck is kicked into net [[note]]with players essentially wielding sharpened blades below their feet, this is quite a sensible ruling. You don't want players to intentionally start swinging their feet at the puck, risking cutting someone[[/note]]. If there is no "kick" motion and the puck is just deflected by the blade, the goal will count. Likewise, the goal will be disallowed if directed into the net using the hands or hit or deflected in using a stick from above the crossbar. A disallowed goal results in a faceoff outside the blue line (explained below.)
* At the centre of the rink is the "red line," that divides the rink in half. There are also "blue lines" on either side of the rink, which indicate the official offensive zones. Two much smaller "red lines" lie on the same line as the goal, and they are used for determining "icing" calls as well as the "goal line", the line which the puck must cross completely to be ruled a goal. There is also a semi-circular "crease" around the net; in international rules, if an opposing player is in the crease when a goal is scored, or obstructs the goalie in any way, the goal won't count. However, in the NHL offensive players are allowed to enter the crease as long as they don't obstruct the goalie's ability to stop the puck.
** When a team is rushing towards the opposing goal, the player in possession of the puck must be the first to cross the blue line; if one of his teammates is ahead of the blue line when the puck carrier crosses it, the play is whistled dead as "offside".
*** As long as the puck carrier is in control of the puck, the puck carrier cannot be ruled offside. His teammates, however, can. It's also possible to go offside and then negate the whistle, as long as you retreat back across the blue line ''before'' the puck is played[[note]]In other words, you can't enter the opposing team's endzone {cross their blue line} before the puck. Or rather, you ''can'', but you ''must'' be out of the offensive zone before the puck is played by the offensive team inside it. If you're not, you're offside. If you leave before the puck is played, no harm, no foul.[[/note]]. One notable exception is shooting the puck towards the net during a delayed offside [[note]]a delayed offside occurs when a team has possession of the puck outside of their offensive zone while a player is inside it. It's usually signaled by the linesman by putting one arm in the air[[/note]], which results in an automatic whistle, even if every player is onside before the puck reaches the goalie (or enters the net).
** Icing is when a player shoots the puck from behind centre ice and past the opposing team's net, and a player from the opposing team touches it. In that case, play is stopped and there is a faceoff inside the offending team's blue line. In the NHL, the offending team is not allowed to substitute their players before play resumes. In international ice hockey usually "no-touch icing" is used whereas the play is whistled dead as soon as the puck has crossed two red lines. [[note]]In case you're wondering, icing calls are intended to prevent "dumping the puck". Clearing the puck out of your endzone is not easy, and if you were able to simply knock it into the other endzone, it would defeat the purpose of defense. In order to clear the puck out of your endzone, you must control it until at least the centre line before you can dump it. The intent is to make the game more strategic instead of a scramble.[[/note]] There is however no icing for the defending team when they are penalty killing, which means they have one or two players less due to an infraction.
* When play is about to resume, the puck is brought into play through a "faceoff", where the linesman (or referee after goals and at the start of a period) drops the puck onto the ice and the opposing centres fight for possession of the puck. The clock stops when the referee blows his whistle and restarts when the puck hits the ice. A faceoff occurs at centre ice at the start of each period (and after a goal is scored) and subsequent faceoffs happen at various positions depending on where and why the play was stopped, who was responsible, etc.
** During a faceoff, a scramble for control of the puck ''before'' the puck is dropped is not allowed. Both players in the faceoff must wait until the puck hits the ice before they can try to take control of it. If one of the players jumps the gun, the faceoff is delayed, the offending player is pushed out of the faceoff, and (usually) one of the wings takes his place.
* During the regular season of the NHL, if the score remains tied after 60 minutes, there is a 5-minute "sudden-death" overtime period (similar to soccer's Golden Goal rule) with only three skaters per side (plus the goalies), and if there are still no tie-breaking goals, there are three rounds of penalty shots (a la penalty kicks in soccer)[[note]]In the event of a penalty, the offending team sends the offender to the penalty box, replaces him with someone else from the bench, and the other team gets an extra skater, making it 4-on-3.[[/note]] During the playoffs, however, overtime is five-on-five and will continue indefinitely (split into further 20-minute periods with regular 10-15 minute intermissions in between) until somebody scores.
** Traditionally, in the standings, a win is worth 2 points, a tie is worth 1 point, and a loss is worth no points. Since the 1998-99 season, however, if the game proceeds to overtime, both teams get 1 point while overtime/shootouts are played for a second point that goes to the winner. Point totals are used to determine which teams make it to the playoffs, rather an a strict win-loss record. A team's record for the season is recorded as X-Y-Z, where X is wins, Y is losses, and Z is ties/"overtime losses".[[note]]This means that games that go to overtime actually have more impact on the standings than ones that don't, a mathematical oddity that has been the subject of much criticism and discussion, with suggestions including going to a 3 for a regulation win, 2 for an OT win, 1 for an OT loss, 0 for a regulation loss system, or just saying to "heck with it", dropping the shootout and bringing back proper ties after OT[[/note]].
* Each team has 20 players[[note]]Most teams actually have a few more, as many as 50, but only 20 can sit on the bench and play, and in the NHL, only 23 healthy players can be on the immediate roster[[/note]], six of which can be on the ice at any given time (usually three forwards, two defensemen and a goalkeeper). Coaches will usually have "lines" (special trios of forwards and pairs of defensemen) and/or "units" (groups of 5 players) who work well together; sometimes coaches will shuffle their lines in the middle of the game to see which combination works best. In a regular hockey game usually 19 players (four lines of forwards, three pairs of defensemen and one goalie) will see play with the reserve goalie sitting on the bench in case of injury. The starting goalie may also be "pulled" when his play is not up to par.
** Another form for pulling the goalie also exists: the goaltender skates to the bench and is substituted with an additional player (usually a forward) to give their team an offensive advantage. This is [[GodzillaThreshold extremely risky]], however, as it leaves their net completely open, and usually it is only done during the final minutes of the third period when a team is desperate and losing by a goal or two, or when there is a delayed penalty on the opposing team, in which case the opposing team cannot touch the puck without stopping play. For instance, it's not unknown for some player of the opposing team to be able to score a goal clear from the opposite side of the rink, a shot that can be up to 61 metres (200 ft) away[[note]]of course, because of the icing rule, this can be a bit of a gamble in close games. If the player misses the goal, he may cause an icing call, resulting in an advantageous faceoff for the opposing team[[/note]].
* Because hockey is such a physically taxing game, substitutions are done frequently (every minute or so) and often in the middle of play, which are called "line changes". Teams are still required to have no more than six players on the ice at a time, however, and a sloppy line change could result in a penalty for having too many men on the ice. Goaltenders, however, are expected to stay on the ice at all times unless they are injured or the coach decides to substitute them due to a bad performance.
* When a player commits an infraction (provided the ref sees and identifies it), play is stopped once the offending player's team touches the puck[[note]]Unless it results in an injury or otherwise results in a normal stoppage of play (such as the puck exiting the playing surface or the net being moved from its normal position), a penalty will never ''immediately'' stop play. If it did, then the team that does not have possession of the puck would be encouraged to commit a minor infraction to stop the other team, especially if the other team has a decisive advantage like a breakaway. Therefore, when a penalty occurs, play continues until the offending team touches the puck, i.e. tries to take advantage of their infraction. If the other team scores before the penalty is officially called, then the penalty does not occur unless the penalty is for more than 2 minutes or there was more then one penalty[[/note]]. Said team is then forced to play short-handed while the penalized player sits in the penalty box, or [[FanNickname "sin bin"]], and cannot be substituted. This gives the opposing team a "power play" for two minutes for a minor infraction or five minutes for a major[[note]]The difference between the two is generally a violation of rules for a minor, and an injury (or the intent to cause one) for a major, but not always. One exception is high sticking penalties: an injury, often "drawing blood", usually results in a 4-minute (two consecutive minors, or a "double minor") penalty[[/note]]. The penalized player returns to the ice when the other team scores a goal (on minor penalties only) or when the penalty's time runs out. However, if a player is deliberately injured by an offending player, that is a match penalty and the player is expelled for the rest of the game (and is fined an amount of money and/or suspended for a period of games afterwards) while his team plays shorthanded for 5-10 minutes depending on the severity of the injury. If two players are in the penalty box, their team is forced to play with only three skaters (called a two-man advantage). If a third player is then sent to the box, the third penalty will not begin until the first has ended, as teams cannot play with fewer then three players (plus goalie) on the ice[[note]]If you've ever watched a game of hockey and been confused as to why the goalie keeps slapping his stick on the ice loudly, it's to alert his team that the powerplay is ended, and they're about to face off against a suddenly full-strength team. It is worth to note that, due to the positioning of the two penalty boxes (close to the middle red line, and outside of the offensive zones), it is possible that a penalized player might return to the game behind the opposing team's defensemen (particularly if they are on the offensive), which leaves him open for a clean breakaway against the opposing goalie if his team manages to get him the puck; the goalie's slapping serves to warn his defensemen against this possibility[[/note]].
** An exception is when a player is penalized for misconduct; the player is in the sin bin for 10 minutes but the team is allowed another player on the rink for the duration. Such a player will not return until the first whistle after the 10 minutes is over[[note]]Although unlikely, this means that a player who got a 10 minute penalty at the start of a period could find himself in the box for the whole period, if there are no stoppages[[/note]]. The same goes with players who are in put in the box for the same length at the same time (known colloquially as "coincidental penalties), unless it's a pair of two minute penalties while both teams are playing with all players, in which case both teams play 4-on-4 until the penalties are done or another penalty is called, allowing the players to leave the box immediately.
** A rarer variant of disciplinary move happens when a player who possesses the puck outside his team's zone with no opposing player between him and the opposing goalie is interfered with from behind in a manner that inhibits his ability to score; in that situation, a penalty shot is called instead of the offending player being sent to the sin bin. In this situation, all the players but the awarded player and the goalie leave the ice and the puck is positioned at the center line. Once arranged, the player approaches the goal and makes the shot in an attempt to score.
*** There are also [[{{Pun}} a handful]] of other ways for a penalty shot to be awarded, such as a non-goalie covering the puck with his hand within the crease or intentionally knocking the net out of position during a scoring opportunity. Unlike the breakaway example, where the player fouled must take the shot, in these cases, any player on the ice can take the shot.
** If the goaltender takes a penalty (rare, but it can happen), a teammate who was on the ice at the time has to serve the penalty for him. This also happens if a team is caught with too many men on the ice during a sloppy line change, as well as for a player who is injured or otherwise unable to serve his penalty, or any penalty to a non-player, such as a coach or even, rarely, [[NiceJobBreakingItHero the fans]]. Coaches often select players strategically in these cases, putting their most offensive players in the penalty box since they rarely kill penalties and are better suited for a breakaway pass when the penalty ends.
** The goaltender will leave play for an extra attacker in the case of a "delayed" penalty, indicated when an official raises his hand but doesn't blow the whistle (indicating an infraction drawn by the defending team). In this situation, the penalty is not called until the defending team touches the puck; the goalie won't be facing any shots, so the extra attacker can press the offense. Also, if a team needs to tie the game or face losing near the end of the game, the coach will "pull the goalie" by taking the goalie off for another skater, to hopefully score the tying goal. It leaves the net open so the other team can score a goal very easily, but there's usually no difference for the losing team if they lose by one goal or two.
** Fighting is a five minute major penalty, but unlike other such penalties, does not result in the offending team losing a player due to relatively recent rule changes.
*** Unless the penalties are not offsetting. While most fights involve one player from each team getting a five minute major for fighting, there are rare instances of a player not fighting back in order to avoid a major penalty and earn a power play for his team, or of a third player joining a fight without anyone else joining in (this normally results in an ejection).
* Technically, there are no own goals in hockey. If a team puts the puck in its own net, the player of the opposing team who last touched the puck is credited with the goal. This is one of two ways a goalie can score a goal, the other one being just shooting the puck along the ice, either into an empty net or with the opposing goalie [[EpicFail screwing up ]]''[[EpicFail majorly.]]''
** Goalies scoring a goal is a very, very rare instance in modern hockey, as they are not allowed to cross the center line of the rink and rarely even advance that far in an attempt to score[[note]]This rule was implemented after a goalie who attempted to play offense was knocked out by a check in the 1966-1967 season[[/note]]. In the modern NHL a total of only eleven goaltenders are credited with scoring a goal, with only two goalies (Ron Hextall and Martin Brodeur) scoring more than once (Brodeur's goal total is now three). Of those fourteen total goals, seven were scored by actually shooting the puck into the empty net and seven by own goals by the opposing team on their own empty net.[[note]]However, one of Brodeur's goals is officially credited as being made against Dan Ellis, the opposing goalkeeper. Ellis was being pulled from the ice when the puck was deflected back towards the net by his own teammate after Brodeur defended against a shot on his own net. While Ellis tried to defend against it, he was too far away from the net at the time and was unable to stop the own goal.[[/note]]
* Hockey players wear possibly the most gear out of any sport: the threat of being hit by a fast-moving disc of hard vulcanized rubber is very real and very dangerous. In addition to skates, hockey players wear: shin pads, padded pants, a jock strap, thick padded gloves[[note]]that generally also have a lot of rigidity in the fingers as well, which is why they're removed for a proper fight: punching someone with a hockey glove is exceedingly dangerous and grounds for getting banned from the sport[[/note]], elbow pads, shoulder pads with chest protection, neck guards and helmets. The total weight of a player's gear can be upwards of 50 pounds, if not more. A recent rule change also means that new players ''must'' have a visor on their helmets to protect their face.

For those who need a more visual illustration of this information and more, you can go to Creator/{{CBC}} Sports' webpage for the shorts of the cartoon character,[[http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/hockeynightincanada/peterpuck/ Peter Puck]].

!!Works thematically based on hockey:

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* ''Go!! Southern Ice Hockey Club''
* ''Go Ahead!''


[[folder: Fan Works ]]

* In the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' of Creator/AAPessimal, the, er, [[CanadaEh Acerian]] immigrant Antoinette de Badin-Boucher arrives in Ankh-Morpork as a student at the Assassins' School, to discover to her disgust that while the weather might get cold and wet, it very rarely gets cold and wet enough for ''proper'' hockey. The version played running around a cold muddy field without ice skates on is not to her taste or inclination. She fears the ice-skates and protective clothing she has brought with her are going to be useless baggage. Then she discovers the Pork Futures Warehouse and regularly breaks in to practice ''real'' hockey and skating. Scroll forward by ten years and she is a graduate and a teaching assistant at the School. By [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12321109/3/Gap-Year-Adventures this story]], she has worked out a deal with the PFW's owners to use a hitherto wasted space for recreation. Fellow Acerians and, er, [[UsefulNotes/{{Finland}} Swommi people]] flock to pay for admission. Both to particpate in, or to spectate, [[HockeyFight mass brawls on ice with lots of applied violence]], and perhaps a little actual hockey in between fights. Thus, with a sort of Canadian-like people in town, Ankh-Morpork gets its first dedicated ice-hockey and skating venue.


[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/SlapShot'': Probably the biggest and best hockey movie. Followed up years later by two sequels with [[{{Sequelitis}} with diminishing returns]].
** Rare is a hockey player who's never seen the movie... fewer than five times.
* ''Score'' is a hockey themed ''musical'' that debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010
* ''Film/{{Youngblood}}''
* ''Film/TheMightyDucks'' and sequels
* ''Film/{{Miracle}}'': About the [[TruthInTelevision 1980 US Olympic hockey team]].
* ''Film/MysteryAlaska'': About a group of local hockey players in a small Alaska community who get to play an exhibition (totally fictional) against the New York Rangers.
* Director Creator/KevinSmith is a big time hockey fan and usually hides at least one hockey reference in his movies, often obscure. In ''Film/{{Mallrats}}'', for example, he had Brodie doing the playoffs in a videogame, playing as the Hartford Whalers--who have since moved and become the Carolina Hurricanes--and the character specifically noted that the chances of Hartford even making the finals, let alone winning the Cup, were slim enough (until 2002, after the move to Raleigh, the franchise had only won one NHL playoff series in their 25-year history to that point) to make it a once in a lifetime situation. He also currently plans a movie called ''Hit Somebody'' based on the Music/WarrenZevon song of the same title.
* ''Film/{{Goon}}'': A sort of SpiritualSuccessor to Film/SlapShot, focusing on the gritty world of enforcers in pro hockey.
* ''Maurice Richard'' released as ''The Rocket'' in English is about legendary Montreal Canadians player [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Maurice "The Rocket" Richard]]
* ''Film/BonCopBadCop'': A Canadian [[BuddyCopShow buddy cop film]] about Anglophone and Francophone cops who investigate a series of murders related to pro hockey.
* ''Film/SuddenDeath'': [[DieHardOnAnX Die Hard on the Stanley Cup Finals.]]


[[folder: Live Action Television ]]

* Rent-A-Goalie: An Italian-Canadian man runs a service in Toronto where pick-up hockey teams can [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin rent a goalie]].
* Power Play: A Canadian drama about the management behind a fictional minor-league team, the Hamilton Steelheads.
* Season 12 of ''Series/{{Degrassi}}'' features several semipro hockey players attending the titular HighSchool.
* Season 1 of ''Series/CornerGas'' featured an episode with the Dog River hockey team losing to a rival team until Lacey steps in as coach.
* Rick Mercer of ''Series/TheRickMercerReport'' repeatedly attends hockey games or hangs out with hockey players in segments. This can range from interviewing guests at the Hockey Hall of Fame to chatting up NHL stars to attending a pond hockey tournament in small town Newfoundland to being invited to learn sledge hockey by the Canadian Paralympic team.
* Episode "Murdoch Night in Canada" of ''Series/MurdochMysteries''. Detective Murdoch investigates the murder of Archie Simpson, a hockey player who is found dead in the team's locker room.
* MacGyver used to be a NHL level junior ice hockey player, until a GameBreakingInjury terminated his career. In RealLife, Richard Dean Anderson used to play ice hockey before his acting career.
* ''Series/DueSouth'' features the season 1 episode ''"The Blue Line"'' where Fraser has to protect a childhood friend who is a superstar hockey player after he receives death threats.
* The season 2 finale of ''Series/Flashpoint'' involves a suicidal [[TheWarOnTerror Afghanistan War vet]] suffering from PTSD and guilt after his best friends are KIA. As a teenager, he was a upstart hockey player, as were the friends, resulting in him choosing the local major league hockey rink that is scheduled for demolition[[note]]The famed Maple Leaf Gardens, [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed though it is renamed]].[[/note]] for his last stand.


[[folder: Music ]]

* The Stompin' Tom Connors classic "The Hockey Song", cited in the quote page.
* Music/WarrenZevon: Hit Somebody (The Hockey Song)- a Canadian farm boy gets recruited as a "goon" (Enforcer) for the Flames and spends his career beating people up when he wishes he could be scoring goals.
* Captain Tractor: [[LoveAtFirstSight Frozen Puck To The Head]] and [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Going To A Hockey Game]].
* Music/TheTragicallyHip song ''Fireworks'' starts with a reference to the Summit Series and includes the line "You said you didn't give a fuck about hockey, I never heard someone say that before."
** Numerous other songs from The Hip also reference hockey, explicitly or implicitly, such as ''The Lonely End Of The Rink'', an ode to hockey goalies, and ''Fifty Mission Cap'' which discusses the story of Bill Barilko.
* Tom Cochrane and Red Rider's song ''The Big League''.


[[folder: Stand Up Comedy ]]

* Creator/RodneyDangerfield: "I went to a fight one night, and a hockey game broke out."
* Creator/CraigFerguson had a simple plan for ending the War on Terror: [[UsefulNotes/CanucksWithChinooks send in the Canadians,]] [[CanadianEqualsHockeyFan give 'em all hockey sticks,]] [[BloodKnight and tell 'em the Taliban have the puck]].


[[folder: Podcasts ]]

* ''Podcast/MarekVsWyshynski''
* ''Puck Podcast''


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/NHLHockey'' and the sequels by [[Creator/ElectronicArts EA Sports]]: Originally released for DOS and Windows from 1993 through 2008 and for console platforms from 1992 through 2016 and beyond. The beginnings saw the franchise split for the two, with ''NHLPA Hockey'' being released in late 1992 for consoles with only NHLPA licensing, while ''NHL Hockey'' was released for DOS in late 1993 with full NHL and NHLPA license [[note]]NHL16, the most recent release, features support for most major leagues, including the American Hockey League, the three amateur Canadian Hockey Leagues and international leagues such as the Swiss National League A and the German Deutsche Eishockey League[[/note]]. By 1995, however, both games were fully licensed and were very similar visually, including the titles which featured the year after release [[note]]''NHL 96'' for the 1995 release, ''NHL 97'' for the 1996 release and so on)[[/note]]. Eventually the console version was prioritized, with PC versions ported from them, until the PC versions ended with ''NHL 09''.
* ''Face Off!'': The original PC DOS hockey game, released in 1989 by Mindspan Technologies and GameStar. Like many sports games of the period, it didn't have any official licenses, but it did feature easy-to-use editing of teams and players, so manually altering the game to fit real life rosters was possible. Many gimmicks and settings introduced, such as rule selection, play creation and a breakaway cam, were later implemented by [[Creator/ElectronicArts EA's]] series to varying success.
* ''Blades Of Steel'': Originating as an arcade game before being released for {{Creator/Nintendo}} in 1988. Has a cult status among both arcade players and hockey fans, especially for its innovative voice sampling.


[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* ''Webcomic/CheckPlease'': A Georgian ex-figure-skater joins a university hockey team in freshman year, and has to learn to overcome his fear of checking, while also managing his team's social life, coming out of the closet, and his love of baking pie.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/TheMightyDucks'': Though only tangentially related to the movie franchise.
* "The Hockey Champ": WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck plays hockey against his nephews in this 1938 WesternAnimation/{{Classic Disney Short|s}}.
* "Hockey Homicide": A 1945 WesternAnimation/{{Classic Disney Short|s}} in which hockey is explained by Goofs.
* Canadian animated series Braceface features a hockey-themed episode in which the main character is a ''terrible'' skater.
* The ''Peter Puck'' series of shorts, which explains the history, rules, and other elements of the sport.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "Lisa On Ice".