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What you should know about hockey and Stanley Cup Playoffs

Posted: 11:25 AM, Apr 13, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-13 20:47:10Z

Since this is the first season for professional hockey in Las Vegas (and the first time many people have attended a hockey game) and the first time the Vegas Golden Knights have been in the playoffs for the Stanley Cup, we thought some people might appreciate a primer of sorts. 

The Stanley Cup Playoffs is an elimination style tournament to crown the Stanley Cup Champion in the NHL. It's 4 rounds long, each a best of 7 game series, meaning that the team to first win 4 games moves on to the next round.

In each playoff series, the team with the better regular season record has the home ice advantage, meaning of the 7 potential games to be played, 4 will be played at the team with the better record's arena. 

For example, if the Vegas Golden Knights and the Los Angeles Kings go a full 7 games, Game 7 will be played at T-Mobile Arena. Game 7 is always the most dramatic situation because at that point the series is a must-win game for both teams. 

RELATED: Vegas Golden Knights playoff photo gallery

The Golden Knights are in the Western Conference, so if it reaches the Stanley Cup Final, it will have to become Western Conference Champions first by winning its first three rounds in the playoffs. 

Here's a quick glance at some key hockey terms/lingo you'll hear:

  • Biscuit -- The puck.
  • Bucket -- The helmet. 
  • Goal -- When you score, it's called a goal.
  • Celly -- The celebration of a goal is scored. 
  • Assist --  If you're involved in passing the puck prior to a goal scored, you receive an assist for assisting on the goal.
  • Netminder -- This is a funny term for a goalie. Most people call it a goalie, but sometimes this will be said by a player or coach in an interview. 
  • Forecheck --  You'll here hockey players and coaches talk about forecheck all the time. It's basically an aggressive style of defense, by checking opponents in the
  • defensive area, to prevent the offense from setting up a play to score. This can also lead to penalties and bad hits. Like the one Drew Doughty had for the Kings in
  • Game 1 which led to his suspension. 
  • Butt-ending -- When a player jabs an opponent with the top end of his stick.
  • Checking from behind -- When a player hits an opponent who is not aware from behind.
  • Cross checking -- When a player makes a check with both hands on the stick. 
  • Hooking -- When a player impedes the progress of an opponent by "hooking" him with a stick. 
  • Roughing -- When a player strikes another opponent in a minor altercation not worthy of a major penalty.
  • Spearing -- When a player stabs an opponent with the blade of his stick, whether he makes contact or not. 
  • Barn Burner -- Used to describe a game that is high scoring, fast-paced, or exciting to watch
  • Power Play -- When a team gets a 1 or 2 man advantage due to the other team getting a penalty. This is the best time to try and score in a game, while the opposing team has players in the penalty box, and fewer players on the ice. 
  • Penalty Kill -- When you're the team that just got a penalty, and have to try and stop a power play. This is a defensive disadvantage. 

RELATED: How to talk like a hockey player  

Basic hockey positions:

  • Goalie -- The goalie is the person who keeps the puck of a net, preventing a team from scoring. Considered the toughest position.
  • Defensemen -- There are two defensemen -- one on the left side and one on the right. 
  • Right wing -- Player who works the right side of the ice for the most part. Must be good along the boards and in the corner.
  • Left wing -- Traditionally a left-handed shot but some right-handers now playing left wing. Needs to be able to dig the puck out of corners and battle in front of the net.
  • Center -- Basically the quarterback for the team. Must be good at face-offs and passing.