Most American hockey fans should have a bit of a soft spot for John Buccigross. Not only did he write Brendan Burke’s story a couple years back, but he’s also our resident hockey head at ESPN.

Sure, they have Melrose, who they trot out during ESPN’s 30 seconds of daily hockey coverage, but Bucci is our guy sneaking hockey references into random sports packages and showing a little love to the underappreciated (by that network) game that is hockey.

Today Bucci put together a four minute clip on hockey lingo in his latest vlogumn (man, these internet words are getting increasingly awful – vlogumn?), and he nails it.

Here it is – I’m certain you’ll enjoy it. My thoughts after the vid:


Ahhh, too good. Phrases like “lettuce” make my day.

One note: use these terms sparingly. It’s obnoxious if you overdo it.

Two minor beefs, and two clarifications:

Beef #1: I’ve never heard of bender being referred to as a “Gump” before. Then again, I may have just missed it because I’ve been blogging for almost three years and not playing, so….who knows. Are you familiar with it?

Beef #2: We’re giving Gabriel Landeskog credit for having the world’s most generic dude-cut? (That I, like most flow-less guys, also have.)


Clarification #1: When you change lines, you change out of the middle of the bench. The ground on the bench is higher than the ice, so it’s easier to jump on than off, and you have to jump going one way – that way there’s no jam-ups at the gate. When you change, you sit at the end of the bench, then slide down as guys change, until eventually you’re in the middle of the bench. Thus, if you’re benched, or just not getting your name called for awhile, you sit there dividing the forwards and defense – hence, you’re the grocery stick, the divider.

It’s almost better to be that guy than the guy who KNOWS he’s not getting out there, so he just sits on the very end of the bench and waits to be told to fight.

Clarification #2: “Pizzas,” at least in the context I know them, are generally a derogatory term. A d-man will throw a pizza right up the middle of his own zone, where it gets picked off, and fired into his team’s net. “Pizza,” because it was as easy to knock down/intercept as a pizza-sized-puck would have been. I suppose you could throw your teammates a pizza, but I prefer to leave it as a light-hearted burn. “You see Smitty throw that pizza up the gut in OT? Thank god Jonesy bailed us out.”


All in all, I give Bucci an “A.” He hit a great range of lingo, and had it nailed down pretty tight.

Comments (8)

  1. Bucci’s lingo tutorial and your educated and astute commentary? What’s not to love, from my two fave hockey media types! #sticktap

  2. I miss NHL Tonight. Those days with Bucci, Melrose, “Chicken Parm” Ray Farraro…just thinking about it gets me teary-eyed.

  3. I have two more beefs on top of yours (although I have heard gump, but only a couple times, plug is usually the go to).

    1) Sharp doesn’t have flow. To have flow there has to be enough hair to come out the back of the bucket (actually bucket would have been a decent inclusion).

    2) How was duster not included among the names for a mustache? Its by far the most common mustache nickname that I’ve heard, while those others are usually only thrown around for a laugh.

    Other minor quibble: he kind of equates sauce to dangles. Sauce is a saucer pass which is totally different, while dangles relates more to dekes. All in all, he did a pretty good job for someone not in the dressing room on a daily basis (and even if he ever is in the room, it’s not when these gems are getting tossed around).

  4. Would love to see more like this. Just some chirping about the lifestyle.

  5. Keep in mind that Bucci is a massachusets guy, so maybe Lettuce is a bahston thing or something.

  6. Would have loved to see him add in Jim Fox’s (color commentator for LA) “tweeners”.

  7. I’m sad that I still haven’t seen shmee incorporated into one of these hockey terms collections. It’s one of my favourites.

  8. what, no apples or ginos?

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