An A-Z of Ice Hockey Terminology: Part 2 (N-Z)

Like with every other sport, there is a unique culture that surrounds Ice Hockey. Those who are involved in the sport, from the players to the fans, create a community that is as dedicated to their sport as any in the world.

As a result of this relationship, a unique corresponding ‘hockey slang’ has developed between players and fans to describe hockey-specific things and events that take place during a game.

In part two of this glossary of must-know ice hockey slang, you will find some of the most common terminology used in the sport, continuing from N to Z;


N –

Neutral Zone Trap: A defensive strategy focused on preventing the opposing team from proceeding with the puck through the neutral zone (the area between both blue lines) and attempting to take the puck from the opposing team.

O –

Overtime: An extra session of play added on after the full regulation time has concluded in order to resolve a match. The team to score in overtime wins the game.

P –

Power Play: A power play occurs when one team has more players on the ice than the other team as a result of penalties assessed to the shorthanded team.

Q –

Quick Whistle: A stoppage in play that occasionally occurs when an on-ice official’s view of the puck is obstructed while the puck is obstructed while the puck is still moving or playable, but the official stops the play with a whistle. The official will whistle the play “dead” with the puck still visible to others.


R –

Ragging The Puck: When a player keeps possession of the puck in order to waste time, usually by circling back towards their own goal and avoiding opponents.

S –

Slapshot: A slapshot is a hard shot, usually with a big wind up, wherein the player bends his stick on the ice and allows the energy stored in bending the stick to launch the stick forward.

T –

Top Shelf: The upper area of the goal, just below the crossbar  and above the goaltender’s shoulders.


U –

Unnecessary Roughness: Also called ‘roughing’, this is a two minute (minor) penalty that is a judgement of the referee. An unnecessary or excessive use of force.

V –

Video Goal Judge: An off-ice official who reviews a goal by video instant replay.

W –

Wrist Shot: A shot that involves using arm muscles (especially those in the wrist and forearm) to propel a puck forward from the open-faced, concave part of the blade of a hockey stick.


Z –

Zone: One of the three areas of the ice as divided by the blue lines. There are three zones; the attacking zone, the neutral zone and the defensive zone.



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