Every hockey fan can tell the story of his or her favorite game. Some will go so far as to learn all the stats of their all-time favorite player or even team. And some go beyond all normal human capabilities and remember every detail about anything hockey.
But what about the basic hockey trivia, the core facts that surround the sport but often go unnoticed? Who’s keeping tabs on these facts? See how many you can answer correctly:
1. Five countries claim ice hockey as an official national sport, which five are they?
2. Name the “Original Six” NHL hockey teams.
3. Why is an NHL puck frozen and kept as cold as possible before play?
4. What does “five-hole” refer to?
5. What comprises a Gordie Howe hat trick?
(BONUS: Thirteen franchises record this statistic. Name as many as you can!)
Answer 1. Canada, Finland, Switzerland, Latvia, and Slovakia all claim ice hockey as an official national sport. Canada actually has two national pastimes, ice hockey and lacrosse. They added ice hockey as the official “winter” pastime because of its popularity.
Answer 2. The “Original Six” were the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Cougars, and the New York Rangers.
Answer 3. The NHL puck is frozen to resist bouncing. Regulation ice hockey pucks are made from vulcanized rubber, which is also used to manufacture tires, some shoe soles, and hoses.
Answer 4. The “five-hole” refers to the space left between a goalie’s leg pads. When a player is poised properly in a net, he has five main openings: one over each shoulder, one on either side, and one through the legs.
Answer 5. A goal, an assist, and a fight within the same game by the same player. While it may not be an official statistic, thirteen franchises have recorded the Gordie Howe hat trick since the 1996-97 season.
Bonus: The Detroit Red Wings, San Jose Sharks, Calgary Flames, Nashville Predators, Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks, Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils, Anaheim Ducks, and the Carolina Hurricanes are the thirteen teams recording the Gordie Howe hat trick.
-Dan “The Wisconsin Hockey Fan”