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A Quick Guide On The NHL For Beginners



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The NHL is a fantastic experience, and if you are a hockey fan, it does not get better than this, but if you are either a newbie to the scene, or if you are fed up with having people ask you questions about the games, direct them here. Not only can we give you all the info about how hockey games work broken down into some key pointers, but we can also give you top tips for starting betting on the NHL. If you want to know more about betting on the NHL, then visit

Divisions and Teams. 

There were originally six teams in the NHL, but there are now 30 teams in the NHL, 23 in the United States and 7 in Canada.  There are also two conferences in the NHL, the Western Conference, and the Eastern Conference. Each conference has two divisions, in the Western Conference there are the Pacific and Central divisions, and in the Eastern Conference, there are the Metropolitan and Atlantic divisions. 

Understand the rink

To understand the game, you should understand the rink. A hockey rink is divided into three parts, defending zone, neutral zone, and offensive zone. An official NHL rink is 200 ft long and 85 ft wide. There are two blue lines, one red line, and two-goal creases, as well as five face-off circles. 

What are the rules? 

There are many rules in hockey, however, these are the most basic ones. 

  • A hockey game has three periods, lasting a total of an hour. Each individual period lasts 20 minutes, with one 20 minute intermission between the first and second periods. If a game is tied at the end of the hour, teams go into overtime. 
  • Icing: Icing happens when a player shoots, dumps, or passes the puck down the entire length of ice, all the way opposing the teams’ goal line. The puck has to pass the center red line and opposing goal line untouched for this to occur. Should this happen, play will stop. It is not a penalty, but must result in a face-off in the offending team’s zone. 
  • Offsides: This rule means that an attacking player must not precede the puck into the attacking zone, in even simpler terms, a player that is heading into the attacking zone needs to ensure the puck is inside the zone before they are. The outcome of this is the same as icing. 


In hockey, there are five positions, as follows; 

  • Goaltender: Much like in many other sports, they prevent the other team from scoring. They are the team’s last defense. 
  • Defensemen: at full strength, a team has 2 defensemen. These players also keep the other team from scoring. They can be called D, D-men, or blue-liners. 
  • Center: The center is a forward position, they take face-offs, passing and keeping teammates organized in both zones. They should also have a good shot and provide offense. 
  • Left Wing: These are forwards, they cover the left side of the ice and provide offense. They also need to be able to dig the puck out of the corner and play in front of the goalies net. 
  • Right Wing: they serve the same role as the left, but instead on the right. They need to be good at passing and controlling the puck. 

NHL betting odds. 

Learning the odds system for the NHL is key if you want to learn to bet on this game. 

On occasion, the posted odds, puck line, or goal total may not match what your read is on the game, and it is these edges that will give you an advantage in the long run. If you do not think that one team should be considered the underdogs, then you should bet on them using your own system and judgement. 

Remember that posted odds are simply a guideline set by the bookmakers to get the most amount of action on both sides of the game. They are not necessarily a solid indication of how good each team is in comparison to one another. 

Before you start betting hardcore, it is worth figuring out which type of bet best suits your style and knowledge of the game. Learning what is best for you and what types of bets you best succeed at will often be an indicator of which areas of the game you understand best. If you are good at betting on first-period totals, then stick with this. Stick with what you are good at. 

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