Florida Panthers in the Playoffs: A Native's Guide to Hockey

Have you heard? The Florida Panthers are in the Stanley Cup playoffs, facing the New Jersey Devils at home again this Saturday. As a native Floridian, I'd like to send positive vibes as the team competes in playoff hockey for the first time in more than a decade. Being a native Floridian, however, I don't know a damn thing about the sport. So I decided to educate myself in the worst way possible.

I found a Wikipedia article called "Ice Hockey Terminology," sent it to a friend, and had him quiz me on definitions.

Here are my worst guesses, plus the real answers so we all can learn a little something about this strange Canadian ice contest:

Dump and chase: My guess: That thing where you're sitting on the toilet and all of a sudden see a cockroach crawling around your bathroom and you grab the can of Raid. (Actual definition: An offensive strategy used to get the puck over the opposing team's blue line and into the corners where players can race to get it, thereby moving the play into the attacking zone.)

Split the D: Sounds painful. Like, really, really painful. (When an offensive player confuses or outmaneuvers two defensemen in order to get between them).

Icing: Wait, is there cake involved in hockey? No one told me this. I am about to become the biggest hockey fan ever. (Icing occurs when a player shoots the puck across both the center red line and the opposing team's goal line without the puck going into the net.)

Twig: A Canadian term for twink. Do gay Canadians like hockey? (Another name for a hockey stick.)

Hooking: When a player agrees to a really big contract with a team he wouldn't want to play for otherwise. (The act of impeding an opponent by placing the blade of a stick into his body.)

Waffle-boarding: A form of torture in which the captor puts the prisoner in a roomful of delicious waffles and maple syrup but straps them to a board, preventing the prisoner from eating the waffles. (A quick save with the goalie's blocker, usually a sideways-sweeping motion.)

Hack: Me as a hockey writer. (The act of contacting an opponent's body or stick with one's own as a result of a swinging motion.)

 
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