Ice hockey is one of the major professional sports in the US and Canada. The National Hockey League (NHL) is managed by a team of professionals, who oversee the smooth running of the league. Since its inception, the NHL has recorded tremendous growth in league participation, sponsorship and broadcast revenues. With its increased popularity, the NHL has also been incorporated in the betting industry, with significant bookmakers including ice hockey markets, as a sport that one can bet on, either online or in casinos around the world.

If you are an ice hockey enthusiast, or you want to get some knowledge about the sport, this is the right place, since we are going to highlight some of the ice hockey basics and rules.

The Game

Each National Hockey League game is played for a total of 60 minutes, which are divided into 3 sessions: each played for 20 minutes with intermissions between the periods. The team with the most goals at the end of the game wins, and in case of a tie, the game goes to extra time. In a regular NHL season, the extra time is a three on three sudden death period, that is played for five minutes, and the team that scores first wins. If the game still has no winner at the end of the extra time, then the games go to a penalty shootout, with three players from each team taking the penalties. In case there’s no winner after the three shots, the players continue taking the penalties until a winner is decided.

Season Structure

The NHL is divided into two seasons; the regular season which runs from early October to mid-April, and the postseason which hosts the Stanley Cup playoff. During the regular season, the teams play each other in a predefined schedule, that is released in advance. In the Stanley Cup playoff, 16 teams play each other to win a best of seven series.