Red lines and blueliners... Forward lines and goal lines...Don Cherry's lines and the GAG line... It's all very confusing isn't it? Well, read on for an explanation.
Red lines and blueliners... Forward lines and goal lines...Don Cherry's lines and the GAG line... It's all very confusing isn't it, but here's a short explanation of what ice hockey is all about.
The object of the game is to get the biggest contract. That's if you're a player. If you're an owner of a team, then the objective gets more ambiguous. It could be to impress you're friends, to hang out with large men with bad hair, to dump in a really old silver cup... It could be anything really. (Rich people sure have some weird ways of amusing yourselves.)
You score a goal by putting the puck in the other team's net. The puck is that little black thing all the players seem to be obsessing over.
Your team wins if you score more goals than the other team. Even some Canadians are confused about this. For some reason, some of them think you win by donning a red jersey with a maple leaf on it.
So those are the very basics. Now, here are some of the things that happen during a hockey game may not make any sense to you. I'll attempt to explain a few of them:
Sometimes players shoot the puck forward, and then skate the other way. This generally happens for one of three reasons:
1. There is a bitter man with a loud voice on your bench screaming, "You're tired, get the hell off the ice!"
2. A Russian named Darius Kasperitus seems to be backing into you.
3. Some idiot is off-side.
The players are allowed to bodycheck each other. They're just not allowed to hook, grab, slash or hack at the other team anymore. Apparently, Canadian traditions don't matter in the new NHL.
Goalies probably need some explanation as well. The goalie is the guy standing in front of each net. The funny thing about them is that, no matter how hard someone shoots the puck, he actually wants the puck to hit him. Back in the day, goalies didn't wear masks. I think they were misbehaving Catholics, but I'm not sure.
And before I send you on your way, here is one of the finer points of hockey culture.
Despite what I said earlier, the uniforms really do matter. Wearing a lightning bolt on your chest takes all the prestige out of winning the Cup.
So that's your NHL. Enjoy responsibly.