Here at we take pride in educating fans that are new to hockey on some of the nuances of the game. We spent much of the Summer teaching you about advanced stats, we recently explained the importance of forechecking and why Vegas is so good at it, and we broke down an odd-rule that caused the Golden Knights to have to send an extra player to the box to serve someone else’s penalty.

Well, our good friend Jerry suggested we run an article helping people learn about certain parts of the game they are confused about but would otherwise be too embarrassed to ask the diehard hockey fan. We got a ton of questions submitted. Some of which we answered right there on Twitter, and the rest are answered here. If you have any more you would like for us to add, send them to us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or email

We put them in order from most basic to most in-depth.

How does the points system work in regards to the standings? Also, what is the ROW column in the standing?

The NHL scoring system allows for each team to get 0, 1, or 2 points in each game. If you win, you get 2. If you lose, you get 0. If the game goes to overtime or shootout, the winning team still gets 2, but the losing team earns 1 point. Overtime games are commonly referred to as “3-point games” because the winners get 2 and the losers get 1 for a total of 3. You’ll also hear the term “point streak” which refers to consecitive games earning at least one point, thus either winning or losing in overtime.

ROW is an acronym for “Regulation or Overtime Wins.” It’s the first tiebreaker (even before head-to-head) to determine seeding in the playoffs. Basically all it does is take away shootout wins from a teams total win count. If a team wins 50 games, but 25 of them were in shootout, they are not considered as good as the team who won 50 games all in regulation or overtime.

What’s the difference between a referee and a linesman, how do I know the difference, and why should I care when watching a game?

There are two of each that officiate each game. The referees have orange armbands on their jerseys, linesmen do not. Referees are in change of calling penalties and goals. Linesmen areĀ in charge of offside, icing, other stoppages of play (hand-pass, high stick, etc), and conducting faceoffs (except the one to open the game). The reason you should care is that they each raise their arm for a different reason. When a referee raises his arm, a penalty has been called. When a linesman does, there is a potential stoppage of play coming if it is not waived off.

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