Once you understand the fundamental rules and regulations of the game of hockey, you'll really begin to enjoy it. These are the NHL official rules for the 2005-06 season.
On The Ice
Goalkeeper: The "goalie's" chief job is to keep the opposition from scoring. A goalie may start his own team down the ice with a pass, but seldom does he leave the net.
Defensemen: They try to stop the incoming play at their own blueline. They attempt to break up passes, block shots, cover opposing forwards and clear the puck from in front of their own goal. On offense, they get the puck to their center and wings, and follow the play in the attacking zone, stationing themselves just inside the opposition's blue line at the "points".
Center: The center leads the attack by carrying the puck on offense. He exchanges passes with his wings to steer the play toward the other opposing team's goal. On defense he tries to break up plays before they get to his end of the ice.
Wings: The wings work with the center on the attack to set up shots on goal. Defensively, they try to disrupt plays by the opposing wings and upset their shot attempts.
Referee: There are two referees who supervise the game, call penalties, determine goals and handle all faceoffs at center ice to start each period.
Linesmen: Two are used. They call offsides, offsides passes, icing the puck and handle all faceoffs except those at center ice. They don't call penalties, but can recommend to the referee that a penalty be called.
A team plays shorthanded when a player is charged with a penalty.
Minor Penalty (two minutes): Penalties include tripping, hooking, slashing, charging, roughing, holding, elbowing, boarding, cross-checking, kneeing, delay of game, diving, high-sticking and interference.
Major Penalty (five minutes): Major penalties are called for fighting or when minor penalties are committed with a deliberate intention to injure another player. Major penalties of slashing, spearing, high-sticking, butt-ending, boarding and cross-checking carry an automatic misconduct as well.
Misconduct (ten minutes): Called for various forms of unsportsmanlike behavior or when a player incurs a second major penalty in a game. This is a penalty against the player, not the team so a substitute is permitted.
Delayed Penalty: The whistle, stopping play, will be delayed until the penalized team regains possession of the puck.