A podcast for hockey fans, both new and old. Join Deb and Erika as we deep dive into what makes hockey the greatest sport in the world. Learn the lingo, explore hockey history, and listen to commentary on the most exciting, frustrating, and heart-stopping moments of the week. We love hockey and think you will too! #HockeyIsForEveryone

Our catchy theme tune is “Ephemeral” by Sunspot. Get the whole song here!

Talk hockey with us!
Twitter: @BeginnersPuck
Email: beginnerspuck@gmail.com


How to Bake a Roster

We did it, fam. We survived the endless off-season and hockey is baaaaack! Deb and Erika talk about our new career as Freelance Hockey Facilitators, The Drama in Toronto, the up/down sides of International Games and a Deb’s new Fantasy Hockey obsession.

In a special ‘How the Puck’ we discuss how teams go from Training Camp to a 23-man Roster. And yes, we explain What the Puck is an ATO/PTO, how waivers are used and who gets sent to minor league and who gets sent back to Juniors. We even debate the merits of the 9 game “try-out”.

And, finally, while Erika may be less than thrilled with international games, she delights in the International crowd in a lovely little Hockey Tidbit.

Have a question, comment or suggestion? Hit us up on Twitter or email us at beginnerspuck@gmail.com

Erika Ensign and Deborah Stanish

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Previous Episodes


So Long to Summer!

The dog days are (nearly) over and hockey is (almost) back. Deb and Erika catch up on what’s gone down in the Post-Tavares summer trade season (Not Much*), what RFA’s without contracts are making us clutch our pearls, who’s going to be this year’s Tavares and, of course, the Nate Schmidt controversy. We also gripe about Toronto being so darn wholesome and talk about our hopes and fears for the 2018-2019 season because “predictions” are a fools game and honestly, were we not all schooled in the dangers of expectations by last year’s Vegas Golden Knights?

In this episode’s “What the Puck” we answer a listeners question and dig into buyouts - what they are, how they’re used and how the #*!&#^ the Caps pulled off that Orpik deal.

And finally, it’s training camp season which means, Rookie Games! Deb waxes poetic on the good hockey boys and their gosh-darn-go-get-em spirit.

Have a hockey question, comment or observation? Do YOU know how players are selected for the NHL media weekend? Drop us an email or tweet and let us know!

Twitter: @BeginnersPuck
Email: beginnerspuck@gmail.com

*Disclaimer: Montreal pulled off their late-night Max Pacioretty trade a few hours after we we recorded this episode. THANKS MARC.

Erika Ensign and Deborah Stanish


A Day With The Cup

Ready for another Hockey round-up? Deb and Erika relive the Washington Capital’s unbridled joy at winning the Stanley Cup. (And endless celebrations. Seriously, have they sobered up yet?) We walk you through highlights (and lowlights) of the NHL awards, the draft, the Hall of Fame nominations as well as recap the #TavaresWatch2018 and settle you in for #KarlssonWatch. And yes, we have a good old rant about the human trash fire known as Slava Voynov. (We’re watching you Flyers/Oilers.)

In this eps “What The Puck” we dive into the origins of “Cup Day” and the shenanigans that led to the creation of “The Keep of the Cup” position. Let’s just say that Phil Pritchard owes a debt to the Patrick Roy, a pool, and the Montreal Canadiens.

Finally, Erika brings us a delightful Hockey Tidbit as she explains those teeny tiny goal nets seen on many a Canadian pond.

Have a question, comment or favorite Cup Day shenanigan? Drop us a tweet or email and let us know!

Erika Ensign and Deborah Stanish


Say What, Doc?

We’re down to what could be the final hockey game of the 2017-2018 season. Will Ovechkin finally get to lift the cup or die on the bench from emotion? Will Vegas stage a comeback and continue to shock every critic everywhere? Deb and Erika discuss it all. We might have a very plausible and accurate theory for fighting in hockey (totally true!) and touch on the NHL Combine and upcoming Draft.

There is much excitement in the house for free agency and the scrum that will erupt on July 1 as the Class of 2019 starts working on getting those trucks of money (literal trucks). Who will stay, who will go? We can’t wait!

Finally, in a new “Say What, Now?” Erika quizzes Deb on hockey slang what she has heard with her own ears and in this episode’s “Hockey Tidbit” Deb touches on the career of the Hockey’s beloved Mike “Doc” Emrick.

Got a question, concern, opinion? Hit us up on Twitter or drop us an email. We can get through this together!

Twitter: @BeginnersPuck
Email: beginnerspuck@gmail.com

Erika Ensign and Deborah Stanish


All The Hockey…

Your intrepid hosts are back from the war* with a HUGE supersized episodes where we catch up on All The Hockey. Deb and Erika dig into the “OMG are we still surprised?” Vegas Golden Knights Stanley Cup run along with the “OMG did Ovi marry the Prince of Wales Cup?” Washington Capitals FINALLY punching their ticket to the big show. The playoffs, the fan bases, the hype - we got it all.

And there’s even more hockey! We got your World Cup, your Memorial Cup, your Calder Cup. All The Cups!

There’s good hockey, such as the announcement of a new ECHL team, the Newfoundland Growlers, with an adorable pupper logo (13/10. Would hockey) and the not so good hockey with USA Hockey’s problematic announcement of John Vanbiesbrouck as Assistant executive director of hockey operations.

In a lighter vein, we look at the Beginner’s Puck Team’s Bracket Challenge. (Spoiler: Deb and Erika are pretty terrible at Bracket Challenges.)

This episode we’re leaving “What the Puck” up to Snoop Dogg but Erika has a delightful “Hockey Tidbit” where she expresses her joy over the NHL’s Stanley Cup teaser commercials.

Have a hockey question you’d like to see us address? Drop us a tweet or email and we’ll drop some hockey knowledge on you. And if you like what we’re doing, leave us a review on iTunes and help other hockey fans find us!

Twitter: @BeginnersPuck
Email: beginnerspuck@gmail.com


Erika Ensign and Deborah Stanish


Pulling Goalies and Heartstrings

Regular season hockey may be just about over but we’re just getting started! Join Deb and Erika in this packed episode as they discuss some sad, real-life hockey, the exciting race for the finish line, bad journalism and good goalies. Have we ever mentioned how much we love goalies?

As contractually obligated by the Hockey Podcasters Association, we also reflect on the retirement of the Sedins and make our pitch for the controversial Hart Trophy Award.

Speaking of goalies (and when are we not?), in a new “What the Puck” segment we look at why goalies leave the crease (so distressing!) and how delayed penalties factor into a goaltender’s game play.

And in a heartwarming Hockey Tidbit, Deb shares the great story of the All-girl hockey team from Harlem.

Got a hockey question, observation or any idea why the Buffalo Sabres were selling Redwing gear in the team shop? Drop us a tweet or email and let us know!

Twitter: @BeginnersPuck
Email: beginnerspuck@gmail.com

Erika Ensign and Deborah Stanish


Trading Places, Changing Faces

Is it in the water? Is it in the air? Has hockey gone completely off the rails now that Trade Deadllne-Madness is behind us?

Deb and Erika dive into the insanity of late-season ticket prices, surprise standings (oh hello Colorado Avalanche), superclose playoff races, KHL shenanigans and rickrolling. I kid you not.

In a new “What the Puck?” they explain just WHY everyone was so crazy leading up the Trade Deadline and how only a fraction of that mania was due to making a play-off run. Let’s be real here, spreadsheets are the real sport in hockey.

And in a fun Hockey Tidbit, Erika waxes poetic about pre-game in-arena shows. There good shows, Brent.

Want to join us in the head shaking? Send us an email or hit us up on Twitter. Hockey is crazy, yo.

Twitter: @BeginnersPuck
Email: beginnerspuck@gmail.com

Erika Ensign and Deborah Stanish


Vegas Crossover Cast

On February 21 The Vegas Golden Knights made HISTORY when they broke the point record for an expansion team and the record for the most games won at home in their first season. Unfortunately we, along with our friends from The Hockey Feels Podcast, attended the dismal game on February 19 where the only thing they broke was our hearts.

But all was not lost! There was a fantastic road trip with ghost towns, Del Taco and giant thermomoters. So join Deb and Erika (and Steven and Rachel) as we talk about the sad sad game, the fantastic atmosphere at T-Mobile, punch-throwing Ducks’ fans, the Mrazek trade and the ugly racial incident in Chicago.

AND, in a bonus #OldHockey, Steven and Rachel talk about the mystique of the gone, but certainly not forgetter, Hartford Whalers.

Want to talk about Vegas? Del Taco? Or have a #OldHockey question? Drop us a tweet or email and join the conversation!

Twitter: @BeginnersPuck
Email: beginnerspuck@gmail.com

Erika Ensign and Deborah Stanish


#OldHockey is for Everyone

It’s a laid back week here at Beginner’s Puck. Erika’s beloved Oilers have been on hiatus and things have been a little wild in Philadelphia. Seems there are sports other than hockey happening in this town. Still, we soldier on, talking about sports superstitions, problematic faves, concussions and celebrations - both formal and informal.

And we bring back #OldHockey with special guest Steven Schapansky of Hockey Feels podcast! Steven gives us the background on Willy O’Ree who, 60 years ago last week, became the first black player in the NHL. We talk about diversity, what the NHL is doing right and what it is doing spectacularly wrong. (We’re looking at you Kid Rock.)

Finally, this week’s hockey tidbit sends us off with a heartwarming story of 15 y.o. Make-A-Wish recipient Hayden Bradley who signed a three-day contract with the San Jose Sharks. Sometimes hockey is pretty awesome.

Want to add to our “Hockey Is For Everyone…sort of” conversation? Drop us an email or tweet and let us know what you think!


Twitter: @BeginnersPuck
Email: beginnerspuck@gmail.com

Erika Ensign and Deborah Stanish


CBA, ASG, Bye, Bye, Bye

The NHL was hockey-lite last week as a third of the NHL ran away to drink cervezas in Cabo. When will this madness known as “Bye Week” end? Never fear, we’re here to fill in the dead air with talk about the Canadian Men’s Olympic Hockey Team announcement, unexpected trades, the NHL All-Star team selection, Bye Weeks and how that is all influenced by the CBA and NHLPA. It’s a Hockey Gordian knot paired with Hockey Jenga. Best game night ever! Well, until ERIKA goes on an EPIC rant regarding refereeing in the NHL. But who among us has not gone there? No one, I say.

We also discuss hockey podcasts featuring women hosts (see a list in our show notes) and in this week’s “Hockey Tidbit” Erika shares her delight in the latest round of NHL Shop’s commercials featuring Awkward Hockey Boys.™

Want to discuss our “off ice issue” conspiracy theory? Jump in on Erika’s epic ref rant? Or, better yet, add another women-hosted hockey podcast to our list? Hit us up on Twitter or drop us an email.

Twitter: @BeginnersPuck
Email: beginnerspuck@gmail.com

Erika Ensign and Deborah Stanish


Good Hockey Boys, Bad Hockey Ploys

There’s a lot of hockey happening out there - and a whole bunch of it isn’t being played by our favorite NHLers. Deb and Erika talk about the madness that is the World Junior Championships, sad hockey babies and perfect - and not so perfect - outdoor games. We also touch on the US Olympic Hockey team, Canada’s Spengler Cup winning proto-Olympic hockey team and our Winter Olympic expectations.

In “What the Puck” Deb and Erika break down penalties and all the ways hockey players can feel the shame. And in an adorable hockey tidbit, Deb talks about the ways hockey players go the extra mile for their team mates. Seriously, have you ever watched a team try to get a teammate his hat trick or a rookie his first NHL goal? ::heart eyes emoji::

Have an opinion on any of these subjects? HAHAHA! Of course you do, you’re hockey fans! Drop us a tweet and let us know what you think.

Twitter: @BeginnersPuck
Email: beginnerspuck@gmail.com

Erika Ensign and Deborah Stanish

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Beginner's Puck