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Ice Hockey

eishockey hockey nhl sports

Hockey is one of North America’s most popular sports and especially in colder regions an established people magnet. 

The teams come from several different places in the U.S. and Canada.  The National Hockey League NHL consists of 30 teams from all over the continent. Even sunnier climes like San Jose, Miami or Denver have a local club. 

23 of the 30 teams are located in the U.S. and 7 in Canada, including the record champion:  the Montreal Canadiens. The team won the desired and world-famous Stanley Cup a total of 23 times.

The rules of Hockey

Every game takes 60 minutes and is split into three periods of 30 Minutes. However, only the pure playtime counts. All this happens on an icy surface of course, which is about 60 x 30 meters large. Roughly speaking the ice rink is split into three fields and from the team’s point of view there is a defensive zone, a neutral zone and an attacking zone. 

Especially important in hockey is the boarding. It separates the audience from the players and is furthermore a much-loved instrument to play off an opponent or push him against it: this is called "checking".

The purpose of the game is to maneuver the puck – a hard rubber disk with a diameter of 8 cm, weighing circa 160 grams - past the opposing players into the goal of the defending team. 

Players try to archive this with all available means. That’s why hockey is all about speed, fitness and sturdiness but also mental strength. In this dynamic team sport pushing and shoving is not only allowed but also to a certain extent required. Prohibited however is tripping, hitting with the hockey stick and the so called cross check - physical contact with hockey stick. This kind of foul play leads to time penalties. 

Each team consists of six players – one goaltender and five outfield players. The outfield players usually divide into two three forwards and two defensemen. Due to the speed of the game is it important that defensemen as well as forwards combine the skills of both positions. In case a team’s player fouls, this player is penalized to sit in the penalty box and not replaced for that period. As a consequence his team has a numerical disadvantage and the opposing team a better chance to score – this is called power play. 

The most popular players of the last decades were:

Wayne "The Great One" Gretzky, "Super Mario" Mario Lemieux, Pawel "The Russian Rocket" Bure and Peter "Peter the Great" Forsberg.

Division
Before the beginning of season 2013/2014 the division of the conferences was reorganized. As a result each conference is now only divided into two divisions. The Eastern Conference hosts two more teams than the Western Conference:

Eastern Conference

Western Conference

Division

Team

Division

Team

Atlantic

Boston Bruins

Central

Chicago Blackhawks

Buffalo Sabres

Colorado Avalanche

Detroit Red Wings

Dallas Stars

Florida Panthers

Minnesota Wild

Canadiens de Montréal

Nashville Predators

Ottawa Senators

St. Louis Blues

Tampa Bay Lightning

Winnipeg Jets

Toronto Maple Leafs

 

Metropolitan

Carolina Hurricanes

Pacific

Anaheim Ducks

Columbus Blue Jackets

Arizona Coyotes

New Jersey Devils

Calgary Flames

New York Islanders

Edmonton Oilers

New York Rangers

Los Angeles Kings

Philadelphia Flyers

San Jose Sharks

Pittsburgh Penguins

Vancouver Canucks

Washington Capitals

  

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