The following is a quick guide into the world of ice hockey and the National Hockey League (NHL).

The Officials

  • The referee is the official who is in charge of the game. He is the one who controls the stoppages and hands out the different penalties depending on the infraction. He is in charge of the face-off at the start of the game as well as determining whether a goal must be either allowed or disallowed.
  • Linesman. They look out for offsides and icing. They also assist the referee in spotting misconduct, although they cannot call for penalties.
  • Official Scorer. This individual is in charge of noting down which player score and which player assisted.


There are six players in each team.

  • The goaltender is the gatekeeper. His job is to ensure that the puck doesn’t go through him and into the net. He can use his stick or glove to defend the net.
  • Defensemen. These players are the first line of defense. Their primary role is to break up the play of the opposition and to ensure that they do not complete passes. Good defense allows the team as well as the goalie better protection.
  • Centers. The center is in charge of attack in the team. He carries the puck during the offense, and he gets assistance from the wings which open up and receive passes from him. The center also helps with defense when they lose possession. He disrupts the play and tries to stop the ball from being played on their side on ice.
  • Wings. The wings work hand in hand with the center when attacking. They open up and receive passes and create opportunities for the center to score. They are also very instrumental when the opponents are on a counterattack. They disrupt the flow of the opponents and try to block their shots at goal.