We gather once again, dear friends, for another lesson in hockey terminology. In our first lesson, we covered some good basic terms that even the n00bist of the n00bs should now be able to throw around. (I would however, be grateful if there was a dictionary to tell me wtf a n00b is). Today we shall continue our education, one that I promise will be more useful than that undergrad degree that your parents spent their life savings on that has still not gotten you a job.
HNIC – This stands for Hockey Night in Canada. Airing on CBC at 7pm on Saturday nights, on air since 1952 when it was hosted by the legendary Foster Hewitt. An icon of Canadian television and culture, it was the only place to watch the NHL for many years before cable TV introduced multiple specialized sports channels. Home to well-known analysts Don Cherry and Ron McLean, this once glorious monument to Canadian hockey has been in shambles since the interference of Rogers TV. Rogers has attempted to update the format for the new generation of Canadians, but really it has made the program as cheap and unappealing as a 2 dollar hooker with jagged teeth. As of late they are rethinking some of their ridiculous choices such as the majority of their hosts, however having lost their iconic theme tune was still a huge mistake.
Five Hole – The gap between the goalies’ legs. Considered a hard area to get the puck through as it is often blocked, unlike yo’ mama whose legs are always open! BAM!
Shut Out – When one team scores no goals in a game against the other. A great achievement for a goalie, this word holds great superstition. When a goalie has held a team scoreless through most of a game, it is forbidden to mention the word shut out at all. It is considered a jinx, like mentioning the name Macbeth in a theater. Should you utter this word before the final horn of the game has sounded, you are legally allowed to be given an atomic wedgie.
Habs – The nickname of the Montreal Canadiens. Short for ‘les habitants’, which in English translates to ‘sucks donkey balls’
Plus/Minus – Mostly used by those who love stats and really only enjoyed by the type of analytic mind that gets a hard-on when they see Rubik’s cube, this stat is used to measure defensive responsibility. If a player is on the ice for a goal by their team against the other team, he gets a plus, if he is on the ice for a goal against his own team, he gets a minus. Someone with a high plus rating is considered a good defensemen, someone with a large minus rating gets scored on a lot….like yo’ mama!
Broad Street Bullies – this was the nickname give the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1970’s. Having joined the NHL in 1967’s expansion from the Original Six (see Hocktionary vol 1), the Flyers looked to assert themselves as powerhouses of the league with a physical presence. With gorilla hybrids Bobby Clarke and Dave Schultz punching their way through most of their games, they were highly successful and changed the game of hockey’s image. Bobby Clarke would continue to punch the face of hockey as we know it in many more ways throughout the years. Such a dick.
Shootout – The worst thing to ever happen to hockey. This is the one time that a hockey fan and a soccer(football) fan will agree….because when the game ends in a tie, there is no worse way to end it than the random chance of a couple of shots that the goalies and the fans hate. Brought in for the American market whose attention span is so short that they couldn’t even be bothered to look for a black rubber disc on a white ice surface without needing it highlighted in blue.
Mister Hockey – Nickname of the late-great Gordie Howe. He earned the nickname by being one of the best all-around players the game has ever seen. Gordie could score, defend, fight, lead, inspire…fly, dance, make things melt with his eyes, make Chuck Norris cry…he could do it all. Until Gretzky came along int he 1980’s, Howe held a ton of the NHL’s records, still holding the record for oldest player to play an NHL game by a country mile at the age of 52.
Well there we go boys and girls, another successful day of learning together. Hopefully you’ve managed to learn just enough to up your hockey IQ to the basic level, which is knowing how much the Buffalo Sabres suck.
Keep your stick on the ice.