What to Do in Vancouver – hockey edition

Learn more about ice hockey – a summary of the basic rules – Go Canucks, go!!!
What’s Canada without hockey? There’s definitely something missing.
As indicated in the last blogpost; today’s posting is all about understanding (ice-) hockey 🙂
Taught by an expert like me 😀 just kidding but I’ll try my best

Let’s start with the basics 🙂 What is ice hockey (known as hockey in Canada) anyway?
First a historical fact but no worries I’ll keep it short. This sport was originally developed from field hockey in the second half of the 19th century. Hockey is a game played on ice between two teams of 6 players each, one of which is the goalkeeper. Of course, the teams consist of more players, substituted during the game. This normally happens every few minutes. Which means that hockey is definitely a really fast and intensive sport. The players use long curved sticks to hit the puck, a small rubber disk (weighing exactly 166 grams), to score goals.
As many of you may know the puck is really small. One surely wonders if it’s possible to follow the puck as a spectator in a big stadium at all? I think it’s kind of easy. Where there is the crowd of players there must be the puck 🙂 Also how do you know a goal has been scored? As in many professional sports you will see a light flashing behind the goal. So, everyone can see that a goal has just been scored. The game is played in three thirds of 20 minutes with breaks between every third. The time will be stopped in every interruption during the game. Additionally, there is a change of sides after every third. That’s why a game usually lasts much longer than 60 minutes (normally about 2-2.5 hours). Which also means you can enjoy watching longer than expected 😉 and don’t forget to join singing the national anthem at the beginning of every match.

The Rink: Have you ever taken a closer look at the hockey rink? It’s full of coloured lines with different meanings. The two lines on each end where the goal is located are called the goal lines. Unlike in soccer the players are also allowed to play behind these goal lines. The blue lines divide the surface into equal thirds, called zones. The zone right in front of the teams own goal is the defensive zone.
The opposite one is called attacking zone or offensive zone. Between the two blue lines is the neutral zone. The dots with circles around them form the face-off circles, which can be used as a start point after an interruption.

Penalty: In hockey, penalties or even brawls are certainly not uncommon. However, the use of the body is an important part of the game. Thus, it is allowed to “check” a player of the opposing team.
But of course, there are rules 🙂

A really common penalty is caused by using the stick inappropriately. This must never be held above shoulder height, especially to hit someone in the face. Also not allowed are fouls such as elbowing, fighting (when players drop their gloves and throw punches at each other), kneeing (fouling an opponent with the knee), slashing or tripping which can cause an opposite player to fall by using a part of the body or the stick or charging which is taking a long run at someone or specifically targeting the head with a hit. Penalties can be 2 minutes for a minor or 5 minutes for a major (or 10 minutes for fighting… or a game misconduct for something very serious); 5 minutes major penalties do not end when the fouled team scores as it does with a minor penalty… it keeps going for the full duration. Sometimes you will receive a double minor with is 2+2 minutes… this is often the case when someone gets a “high stick” to the face which is 2 minutes and another 2 if they drew blood during the hit. Crazy.

Powerplay and Man-Down: Of course, such a penalty situation is only bad for one team. The resulting overpowering situation for the other team is called powerplay. A good chance to score a goal. The penalized team is considered a “man-down” or “two-men down” if the play results in a 5 vs 3 scenario when they are double penalized

Offside & Icing: If a player enters the offensive zone before the puck that is considered offside. And I think that’s way easier than in soccer 😀 BUT if you shoot the puck the full length of the ice it is called icing and the play is called back to the defensive zone of the team that “iced” the puck. However if a team is a man down due to having received a penalty they are allowed to ice the puck so you will often see them shoot the puck the full distance to get it out of their defensive zone during the penalty.

So that’s it for now I hope I could give you a good first insight into the Canadian national sport.

Have a look at the upcoming season schedule. There are only 4 days left till the first game of the year.
Find further information on https://www.nhl.com/canucks

Cheers,

– Tatjana

INTERNeX International Exchange
2005-689 Abbott St., Vancouver, BC, V6B 0J2
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

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