What Every Hockey Fan Needs to Know

Richard Coleman

May 29, 2023

Hockey is a sport that has captured the hearts of millions around the world with its fast-paced action, physical play, and unparalleled excitement. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just someone who enjoys watching the occasional game, there are certain things every hockey fan should know. This article closely examines the game’s rules, some interesting trivia, and other essential knowledge for any hockey enthusiast.

The Basics of Hockey

Every hockey fan should first know the game’s basic rules. Hockey is played on a rink that measures 200 feet by 85 feet, with two teams of six players each (including the goalie) trying to score goals by shooting the puck into the opposing team’s net. The game is divided into three periods, each lasting 20 minutes, with a 15-minute intermission between periods.

One of the most important aspects of hockey is the concept of offsides. This occurs when an attacking player enters the offensive zone before the puck does, resulting in a stoppage of play. Another essential rule is icing, which occurs when a player shoots the puck from behind their side of the center ice line and goes down the rink without being touched by another player. This also results in a stoppage of play and a faceoff in the offending team’s zone.

Hockey Trivia

Now that we’ve reviewed the basics let’s dive into some exciting hockey trivia. For example, did you know that the Stanley Cup, awarded each year to the NHL’s championship team, was first awarded in 1893? Or that Wayne Gretzky, often considered the most outstanding player in NHL history, holds over 60 records, including the most career goals and assists?

Another fun fact is that the original name of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings was the Detroit Cougars. The team changed its name in 1932 to avoid confusion with a local football team called the Cougars. And speaking of team names, the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights were named after the Army’s parachute team, based at nearby Nellis Air Force Base.

Essential Hockey Terminology

There are also some key hockey terms that every fan should know. For example, a “power play” occurs when one team has more players on the ice than the other due to a penalty. This can often result in increased scoring opportunities for the team on the power play.

Another important term is “hat trick,” when players score three goals in a single game. This term originated in cricket, where fans would toss their hats onto the field to acknowledge a player who had achieved this feat. And if you hear the announcer talking about a “Gordie Howe hat trick,” that means a player has scored a goal, recorded an assist, and get into a fight all in the same game – a tribute to the rugged and talented Hall of Famer.

Hockey Culture

Finally, it’s worth noting that hockey has a unique culture, with traditions and rituals often passed down from generation to generation. For example, many players grow playoff beards during the NHL playoffs, a superstition believed to bring good luck. And in Canada, where hockey is akin to a national religion, entire towns shut down to watch their local team play in the Stanley Cup Final.


Whether you’re a seasoned hockey fan or just getting started, there are certain things that everyone should know about this exciting sport. From the basic rules to interesting trivia, essential terminology, and cultural traditions, learning about hockey can deepen your appreciation and enjoyment of the game. So grab your jersey, settle in with some popcorn, and prepare to cheer on your favorite team – you’re now armed with the knowledge to be a true hockey fan!