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Boston Babe Sports Bible: 4 hockey buzzwords explained through relationship cliches

Posted by Alex Pearlman  November 27, 2011 04:28 PM

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boston bruins.jpgBy Kayla Brown

When it comes to hockey, I'm an admitted “pink hat” (see last week’s column if you have no idea what I’m talking about). Still, considering the hot Russian players, the mad dramz, and the fact that up until Black Friday, our "B"-loved Bruins were on a whopping 10-game winning streak, there's a lot to love about the sport.

And so, in perhaps the only context that can live up to the violence and passion of a game like hockey, let's try and explain some words and phrases you're likely to hear thrown around in TD Garden and on NESN through the equally cut-throat terms of the world of dating. A helpful hint: For all intents and purposes, “puck” equals “man.”

Body Check. Also see hip check, shoulder check, poke check, sweep check, stick check, forecheck, backcheck, and, yes, even just check -- basically, anything that could be described as an aggressive maneuver in which the body is used to push (i.e., "check") an opponent into the boards/ice/other players or otherwise deter progression towards a goal (quite literally). Technically, checking is only legal when it involves an opponent with possession of the puck, but if I’ve learned anything about hockey it’s that the “rules” are helpful suggestions at best.

In relationship terms: A certain pneumatic redhead has used her “charms” (plunging necklines and excessive giggling) to retain possession of the "puck" you’ve had your eye on all evening. You take fate into your own hands with a few social hip checks against the boards: casually suggesting she explain her views on complicated foreign policy issues and/or telling her she looks great considering her ongoing battle with chlamydia. In a particularly dirty move, you order a large bowl of chocolate pudding and “accidentally” spill it all over her décolletage. All's fair in love and hockey, right?

Clearing the Puck. Get the puck outta here (“here,” in this case, refers to your team’s defensive (danger) zone)!

In relationship terms: You’re trying to make a clean break and move on, but your ex-"puck" continues to lurk in the background with heartfelt texts (“I’ve changed;" “It’ll be different this time;" “You’re the only one for me”) and late-night moonlighting in the shrubs outside your bedroom window while he screeches the lyrics of Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” between sobs and gulps of Jack Daniels. Smack him out of your defensive zone before you *ahem* "give up a goal" in a moment of weakness. You won’t score with new, better "pucks" if he’s still lurking around behind the net.

Power Play. A situation in which one team has a temporary numerical advantage over the other team because one or more players is serving time in the penalty box.

In relationship terms: Remember that time back in college when your flaxen-haired lingerie model roommates were stuck with previous engagements (Narcotics Anonymous meetings, court-mandated community service, jury duty, etc.), and you were forced to attend the lacrosse team’s annual holiday mixer all by your lonesome? Less competition equates to more opportunities to score. Carpe diem, you vixen!

Shootout. As of an amendment during the 2005-2006 season, new NHL regulations state that if a regular-season game is still tied after three periods, plus five minutes of overtime, the game will be decided with a tie-breaker shootout, in which each team chooses three players to take shots against the opposing team’s goalie. At the end of the shootout, the team that scores the most goals is declared the winner. In the case that both teams score the same amount of goals, the game is decided with a “sudden death shootout,” in which the first team to score is declared the winner. On Black Friday, as I was writing this, the Red Wings defeated the Bruins in an overtime shootout.

In relationship terms: I must defer to my inspired brother, who assures me that a shootout can be compared to “a contest you have with your buddies to see how many girls you can score with.” Charming.

I’m new at this hockey stuff. Help me out, and come up with your own hockey buzzword/dating cliche!

"The Boston Babe Sports Bible" is a weekly column featuring sports news and insights from Kayla Brown.

Photo by s.yume (Fickr)

About Kayla -- Kayla Brown is the author of the “Boston Babe Sports Bible” series and TNGG's weekly fashion column "Haute and Dangerous" (inspired by a Ke$ha song). She hopes to one day channel her debilitating caffeine addiction into the noble art of copywriting. Her interests include watching YouTube videos of cute animals doing funny things. If you think you can handle it, follow her on Twitter: @kjbrown22.

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