Back in the 1970s, if you watched NBC’s Hockey Game of the Week or Hockey Night in Canada, you were privy to Peter Puck teaching you about the game of hockey. I wasn’t alive, so I had to watch on horrible quality VHS as a youth of the 80s. Luckily for all of you, we now have the interwebs, and access to me spreading the gospel of the fastest team game on the planet.
Episode 1 will give an overview of the game, the basic ins and outs, and as the series continues, get more in depth and technical.
The Playing Surface
There are two basic rink sizes used around the world. The rinks used in the NHL and a majority of the US and Canada measure 85’ wide x 200’ long. International and Olympic rinks are the same length, but 13’ wider.
The entire ice surface is painted white and striped with the definitive lines you’ll see on all hockey rinks. The goal lines on which the nets sit at either end of the ice which sit generally 10 feet from the end boards, the blue lines which designate the defending or attack zones depending on your team’s direction of play, and the red (center ice) line that divides the rink in half. The area of center ice between the blue lines is known as the neutral zone. Inside each zone, there are two face-off circles, there are four face-off dots in the neutral zone, and one dot inside the face-off circle at center ice. It’s at these locations where the puck is dropped to start a period, after a goal, and any other stoppage in play. The blue shaded area in front of the net is the crease which acts as a safe haven for the goalie and an area where attacking players aren’t allowed to camp out. In the NHL, there is a trapezoidal area behind each net, and in this area, the goalie is not allowed to handle the puck. The inside dimensions of the nets are 6 feet wide and 4 feet tall.