Zones and Face-offs

Here is a diagram of the ice surface of a hockey game.

Hockey ice diagram.png

THE ZONES

DEFENSIVE ZONE

This is where your team’s goalie is and it is where you prevent the puck from going into your own net.

NEUTRAL ZONE

This is where the game starts. It is called the neutral zone because it is at the centre of the rink and there is no real offensive threat from either team.

OFFENSIVE ZONE

Dubbed the “fun zone” by Leafs’ head coach Mike Babcock, this is where you try and score on the opposing team’s net.

FACEOFFS

Looking at the diagram, you will see a bunch of red dots everywhere. Those are faceoff dots and every period starts with a faceoff from the centre. Whenever there is a stoppage in play, the game resumes on a faceoff. This is when the referee drops the puck on the dot and two players try and get the puck back to their teammates.

Where they do the faceoff depends on the reason for the stoppage in play. If your goalie freezes the puck (when they hold on to the puck), then there is a faceoff in your defensive zone. If the opposing goalie freezes the puck, then there is a faceoff in your offensive zone. From there, they drop the puck on the closest dot where the goalie froze it.

If your team caused an icing, then there’s a faceoff in your defensive zone. If your team is offside, there is a faceoff in the neutral zone. Every single time, the dot closest the stoppage in play is where the puck will be dropped.

QUICK SUMMARY – FACEOFF LOCATIONS

Your goalie freezes the puck – defensive zone faceoff

Opposing goalie freezes the puck – offensive zone faceoff

Icing – defensive zone faceoff

Offside – neutral zone faceoff

Puck out of play – neutral zone faceoff

Penalty – defensive zone faceoff

Power play – offensive zone faceoff