Beginner's Puck

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

All Episodes

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    January 9, 2023 NHL Accountability and World Juniors
    49 Here’s How We’re Going to Do It

    Are our favorite teams still saddled with Problematic Players? You bet. Are we tired of these things keeping us from the game we love? One Hundred Percent!

    In this episode we work our way through and beyond the messiness and get back to the joy of the sport. We catch up on our teams, make a (very) small case for Torts being the right coach for Philly and how World Juniors hit a bit different in Canada this year. We give props to Boston for their “man, we really screwed up and we have a plan to fix that” after the Mitchell Miller Debacle. (And yes, our fingers are crossed it’s not just performative.)

    In short, hockey is still a beautiful game and we miss talking about it so here’s how we’re going to do it…by finding our hockey joy wherever we can. We hope you join us!

    New to Hockey? We are here for you. Drop us a tweet or email us at and we’ll help you navigate this wild, fantastic landscape!

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    May 20, 2022 Movie Review - Goon
    48 Goon

    As a special treat for Incomparable membership month, Deb and Erika bring you a taste of the fun members get — by sharing their very first members-only special from 2017!

    Deb and Erika are joined by Lisa Schmeiser as they discuss “Goon”, the 2011 sports comedy about bros, fighting, and what it means to be part of a team. Loosely based on the life of enforcer Doug Smith, the Beginner’s Puck crew breaks down the hockey stereotypes, hockey truths, and how this bro-iest of bro movies is weirdly enlightened.

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    May 6, 2022 How the NHL Broke Our Hearts
    47 We’re Back! (Kinda)

    We’re back! Kinda? Sorta? It’s been a while because, honestly, this year has been ROUGH. What happens when the thing you love doesn’t love you back? Deb and Erika talk about the heartache of hockey, and we don’t mean the stuff that happens on the ice. But like any heartache, you grow and move on, a little tougher, a little wiser, and a whole lot sassier.

    We can’t wait to see you next season!

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    September 27, 2021 Catching Up & COVID (Attendance) Protocols
    46 Off-season Moves and Bagging on Bags

    It’s all happening now. Teams are shaking it up and shaking it down, skates are on ice, and we’re weeks away from the official start of the 2021-2022 season. Deb and Erika work through our varying degrees of excitement both at what’s happened over a very active summer and what we’re (sorta) looking forward to this season. Of course we’ll all be going in empty handed thanks to the new NHL bag policy but hey…it’s like they say: Hockey is for Everyone…Who Has Pockets.

    In this episode’s “What the Puck” we discuss the NHL COVID policy and how that could affect teams with unvaccinated players. Finally, Erika announces a project that will help newbie fans work through our back catalog.

    New to Hockey? We are here for you. Drop us a tweet or email us at and we’ll help you navigate this wild, fantastic landscape!

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    May 17, 2021 Stanley Cup
    45 Playoffs? Playoffs!

    Much like the Tampa Bay Lightning Deb and Erika are taking advantage of circumstances and letting it roll. In our case, dropping an unplanned and unscripted podcast to celebrate the official kick off of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Sorta.

    This ep is all about conflict: ours, Tom Wilson’s, John Tortorella’s…. But we also touch on good social media, anticipated battles, the upcoming expansion draft and our excitement of watching the Kraken in their new arena in 2022. We believe.

    New to Hockey? We are here for you. Drop us a tweet or email us at and we’ll help you navigate this wild, fantastic landscape!

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    February 21, 2021 COVID Hockey
    44 Hockey’s Still Happening

    Hockey, yay? Deb and Erika end their long hiatus to discuss the current state of the NHL including COVID COVID everywhere, trades that make you go “yoinks!”, outdoor games, and Crosby’s big 1000. There may also be a little bit of Tony D’Angelo schadenfreude. I mean, c’mon, we’re only human!

    In this ep’s “What the Puck?” we delve into the who, what and why’s of The Taxi Squad and, finally, Deb ties it all up in a neat hockey tidbit bow by remembering the 2008 Winter Classic

    New to Hockey? We are here for you. Drop us a tweet or email us at and we’ll help you navigate this wild, fantastic landscape!

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    August 15, 2020 Tukka Rask leaves bubble and crosschecking
    43 No Cross Check, Please!

    So far, so good, right? The bubble appears to be holding, but but that doesn’t mean it’s all champagne and roses, especially if you’re a Bruins fan. Deb and Erika talk about today’s biggest story (Tukka Rask), last week’s biggest story (that 6+ hour game), and the final slotting of the draft lottery. (Remember that?)

    We also touch on the sassiness of the Jumbotron operators; the heroes and villains of the playoffs; and, of course, The Refs (See also: heroes and villains).

    In this episode’s “What the Puck” we are all about the checks: body, hip and cross as well as a few that were new to us.

    And, finally, Erika has been sprinkling the internet with her hockey tidbits over at @HollyGoGarkly on Twitter.

    New to Hockey? We are here for you. Drop us a tweet or email us at and we’ll help you navigate this wild, fantastic landscape!

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    July 25, 2020
    42 Hockey Gets Kraken

    So much has happened since we last chatted in May: there’s Kraken and bubbles and some shady Byng-ing going on. Deb and Erika reach waaaaay back and talks about the Draft Lottery, how the US couldn’t keep their #%@^ masks on and lost a hub, as well as the NHL awards that will be awarded who knows when. What even in time?! throws hands

    Erika gives us some perspective on what we can expect in a hub city given that she, you know, lives in one. We also talk about our conflict over how excited we are that hockey is back and just how stupid it is that hockey is back. Look, we are complex people and can hold multiple, simultaneous opinions, okay?

    Finally, in our delightful little hockey tidbit, Deb introduces you all to Gritty’s 1/4 hour of power. It’s good, clean, dumb fun and who doesn’t need that?

    Have a hockey question, comment or observation? Hit us up on Twitter @Beginnerspuck or drop us an email at

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    May 27, 2020 NHL’s Return to Play Plan
    41 Return to (Press) Play

    The NHL has risen from the ashes and so has Beginner’s Puck! Join Deb and Erika as we decipher Garry Bettman’s presser, figure out who is going where and why and, more importantly, discuss whether they should. I mean, let’s face it, everyone out there is sporting masks and practising responsible social/physical distancing, right? Right?!

    We throw our segments out the window as work through our conflicting emotions of joy, trepidation, and despair at hockey culture’s “warrior” mentality. It’s a rollercoaster, kids.

    NHL’s Return to Play Plan:

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    February 19, 2020 Anaheim, California Carcast
    40 Carcast! Anaheim Edition

    It’s another special Beginner’s Puck/Hockey Feels crossover Carcast — this time with a special guest who is relatively new to hockey fandom, Chip Sudderth! When you attend a Doctor Who convention in Los Angeles, what better way to start the weekend than by braving rush-hour traffic and trekking to Anaheim to check out the Flames vs the Ducks at the Honda Center? (Turns out there may be lots of better ways…)

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    September 27, 2019 Preseason and Scouts
    39 Scouts’ Honor

    The countdown to opening day continues. Deb and Erika discuss the real v. emotional toll of preseason, debate the merits of the NHL opening the season with European games (gotta grow that game! In Switzerland!). And touch on the those pesky RFA’s and who got that bread. Or that bridge. There’s a lot of b’s in the preseason. Of course we talk about Matthews. Both the ugly and the plain stupid, but pull ourselves out of spiral and end on a Cammi Granato note.

    In this eps “What the Puck?” we discuss the difference between amateur and pro scouts and how Deb really wants to be a hockey ninja spy.

    Finally we close with a “Behind the Glass” tidbit.

    Have a hockey question, comment or observation? Hit us up on Twitter @Beginnerspuck or drop us an email at

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    September 16, 2019 BP Season 3: PTOs and Camp Invitees
    38 Dropping the Puck on our Third Season

    Hey kids, hockey is (almost) back! Join us as we kick off Beginner’s Puck Season 3 and talk training camps, the shakedown of our home team rosters and take the Wayback Machine to the Stanley Cup finals and summer trades. We also discuss the chaos surrounding the current batch of unsigned RFA’s and what to do when your fave team opens its doors to a player you absolutely, positively cannot STAND OMG.

    We also play the hockey version of Tinder and tell you who’s getting our swipe right for the 2019-2020 season.

    And speaking of training camps, in this episode’s “What the Puck?” we explain the difference between a Camp Invite and a PTO.

    Finally, Erika closes us out with a hockey tidbit in which we both love our mascots a whole lot. I mean, who doesn’t love a Murder Cat and a Sassy Demon Hell Spawn?

    Smell that? It’s the odor of sweaty hockey gear and possibility. Let’s get this season started!!

    Have a question about hockey? Want to comment on the episode? Drop us a tweet or email us at

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    May 27, 2019
    37 CHAOS

    We’re back with a pre-Stanley Cup episode because even when your heart is broken, it’s still hockey, amirite? Erika and Deb talk about the chaotic end of the 2018-2019 season, how to find the fannish fire when every single #&@^#% team you love is currently playing golf, what’s coming next in hockeylandia and how we just know one team is going to break our hearts next year and sign #&@^#% Voynov.

    In our #WhatThePuck segment we explain the flurry of signings of NCAA players and how it affects their ELC/trade value.

    Our hockey tidbit this ep is the adorable NHL Fan Choice Awards.

    Have a question, comment or just want to cry about hockey? Hit us up on twitter or email us at!

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    March 24, 2019 Hockey Voicemail!
    36b Short Shift - Erika

    No time for a full-on podcast, but Erika has more exciting hockey talk to share with Deb!

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    March 19, 2019 Hockey Voicemail!
    36a Short Shift - Erika

    No time for a full-on podcast, but Erika just can’t wait to spew some hockey talk at Deb!

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    March 14, 2019 Trades, You Can Play, Storm Surge
    36 It’s March and We’re Mad

    Deb and Erika are back and have a lot to say about Erika’s new-found passion for the Florida Panthers (you do you, girlfriend), recent games they’ve attended, the post-deadline trade fall-out (RIP Zuccarello), the REAL March Madness of playoff runs, Deb’s Duchene issues and the fan reaction to the (disproved) homophobic slur uttered at the TORvTBL game this week.

    In a new “What the Puck?” Deb dives into the creation and mission of “You Can Play” and how it differs from the NHL’s “Hockey is For Everyone” initative.

    Finally, Erika talks about those Bunch of Jerks™ and their fantastic Storm Surge in this episode’s “Hockey Tidbit”.

    BONUS! We announce our upcoming Member’s Only Bonus Episode. It’s going to be pretty cool. #teaser

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    February 10, 2019 Analytics
    35 From Pucks and Sticks to Analytics

    This is a super-sized, super special episode as we welcome Meg and Hannah from Balls and Sticks podcast to talk hockey, the NHL at large and sexy sexy stats. ! Basically, this is what happens when you put four people together who just really really like hockey. I’m not saying it gets rambly but I’m saying we could have talked a lot longer. A LOT. We had a ton of fun and we hope you have just as much fun listening. And check out our show notes for all sorts of links including where to find Meg, Hannah and the Balls and Sticks Podcast!

    Have a question, comment or query about hockey? Hit us up on Twitter or drop us a line at

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    January 29, 2019
    34 All-Star Puppies and Real Time Stats

    Thank all that is holy, hockey is back. Sure, the ASG break is fun for SOME of us (I’m looking at you, people in Canada, who had the GOOD All-Star Weekend broadcast) but the rest of us had to suffer through the not-fun bits to see our old faves and new faves including Kendall Coyne and Brianna Decker who Tore. It. Up. Deb & Erika break down the highlights and lowlights of All-Star Weekend and the resource disparity between men and women’s pro hockey, starting from development. We also touch on the new razzle-dazzle technology the NHL launching next year and the possible impact it will have on the league. We close our regular segment with the Muzzin trade and why it is a good thing (In Deb’s opinion).

    In this episode’s “What the Puck” we talk about the importance of scouting and why having depth in your organization is critical.

    Finally, we close on an adorable hockey tidbit: Hockey Puppers.

    Have an opinion, question or thoughts about hockey? Hit us up on twitter @beginnerspuck or drop us an email at

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    January 22, 2019 Rush, Odd Man and Offensive
    33 Rushin’ to the Trade Deadline

    We’re back from our (very extended) holiday hiatus and wow, life moves fast. Like, what the hell is up in Edmonton? Erika gives us the local perspective while Deb listens sympathetically. (Chiarelli, amirite?) We also talk about trade-deadline madness, the financial impact of making the playoffs and why can’t the ASG be fun? (We need a Storm Surge!) Speaking of surges - we touch on the unexpected Islanders and how delicious an Islanders/Maple Leaf playoff game would be. (Bitterness and spite - don’t discount these important motivators) Finally, we wrap up the regular segment with a bit of “weird and cute”. Weird being Jack Eichels incredibly detailed game day routine (#TeamGoFundMe for the “good” apples!); and the cute being the Dallas Stars incredible Make-A-Wish game played with the mighty EKG’s (and that goon Anderson McDuffie).

    In this episode’s “What the Puck” be go back to basics and break down the “rush”. During which Erika proves she is a Fake Canadian and doesn’t even make one Rush joke. She is NOT today’s Tom Sawyer. But she does get her revenge by quizzing Deb in a rapid fire “Say What Now?”

    As always, we close with a “Hockey Tidbit” in which Erika recounts a charming family anecdote about the time Daryl Sutter delivered a combine and was sassed by her nephew. Canadians, eh?

    Have a question, comment or Daryl Sutter anecdote? Hit us up on Twitter @beginnerspuck or drop us an email at!

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    December 14, 2018
    32 Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

    Today our cities may be at war, but for this episode Deb and Erika cozy up and discuss the changes in management and coaching brought to our fair cities, and if they’ve made any differences. (The Philadelphia Flyer fan half of this team threw hands AND snorted.) We also discuss the NHL’s 32nd team, the upcoming World Juniors Championship, and the age old dilemma of how to deal when a player you like is traded to a team you very much do NOT like. (ANGST)

    And now the the Willy Nylander deal is settled (#blessed) we bemoan the oncoming months of Matthews/Marner speculation. (This is not AO3 so don’t look at that slash that way. Rude.) Which brings us to this week’s “What the Puck” - Offer Sheets! We give you the lowdown on what they are and if they are feasible in the modern NHL.

    To close out this ep we give you the delightful Hockey Tidbit of the Montreal Canadiens “Twig for Twig” program. It’s a good one.

    Have a question, comment or opinion? Hit us up on Twitter or send us an email at

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    November 19, 2018 Alberta Canada Carcast
    31 Carcast! Alberta Edition

    It’s a special Beginner’s Puck/Hockey Feels crossover Carcast! Once again Deb and Erika are joined by Steven and Rachel from Hockey Feels as we road trip through Western Canada to see the both the Battle of Alberta (Edmonton Oilers v. Calgary Flames) in Calgary and Vegas Golden Knights return to Rogers Place In Edmonton. It was a white knuckled drive but we talk about #oldhockey, our favorite arenas and all things NHL. I mean, if four hockey podcasters are stuck in a car for 3+ hours what did you think was going to happen?

    Want to join in the conversation about your fave rinks? Drop us a tweet @beginnerspuck or an email at!

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    October 15, 2018 Goalie equipment and NHL’s sexual assault policy
    30 The Good, Bad, Ugly

    …otherwise known as “The first week of hockey, baby!” Deb and Erika talk about the good (So. Many. Goals.), the bad (why you have to hurt us like that Edmonton?) and the ugly (NHLPA/NHLShyam Das - you are ON NOTICE. You too, Matheson). Sure, there have been some bumps in the road but it’s early days, kids. Who knows what next week will bring?

    In this episode’s “What the Puck?” we’re back on our goalie game - this time breaking down the evolution of goalie equipment.

    And finally, in a fuzzy, orange, terrifyingly ridiculous hockey tidbit, Deb wants to love Gritty with her whole heart. Sadly, due to some off-ice issues she has to deduct a few character points, dropping him firmly into the “problematic fave” league for the time being. We believe in your development, Gritty. We’re pulling for you!

    Have a question, comment, huzzah? Drop us a tweet or email us at!

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    October 9, 2018 How teams narrow down their rosters
    29 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

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    September 10, 2018 Summer is over, let’s do that hockey
    28 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

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

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    July 9, 2018 Stanley Cup wrap up
    27 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!

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    June 7, 2018 Stanley Cup
    26 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

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    May 28, 2018 Stanley Cup preview
    25 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


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    April 6, 2018 Delayed penalites, pulling goalies
    24 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

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    March 12, 2018
    23 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

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    February 22, 2018 Vegas Golden Knights
    22 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

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    January 23, 2018
    21 #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

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    January 13, 2018 Bye Weeks, ASG, CBA
    20 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

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    January 4, 2018 World Junior Championship/Hockey Penalties
    19 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

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    December 19, 2017 Streaks, grudges and bogus stats
    18 Streaks and Stats

    Did you know hockey is actually fun when your team racks up a few wins? Who knew?! In this ep Erika and Deb talk about streaks - winning AND losing; the most bogus of stats (spoiler: Hockey Analysts love them) and the grudgiest of grudge matches. Hey, we all love a narrative!

    In a continuation of “Say What Now?” Erika turns the tables and quizzes Deb on colorful hockey language and in this ep’s “Hockey Tidbit” Erika expresses her love for outdoor hockey, especially when played by teams not named “Chicago Blackhawks”.

    Do you have a colorful hockey phrase*? Drop us a tweet and test our hockey knowledge!

    *Any phrase uttered by Daryl Reaugh aka “Razer” of the Dallas Stars is automatically disqualified because, dude…that is like next level.

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    December 2, 2017 Say What Now?
    17 Sad Slapper

    Sure, everything is terrible in both Philadelphia and Edmonton…and Arizona…and Buffalo, and…

    BUT we persevere! Deb and Erika talk about Erika’s recent AHL Road Trip, how you love a team that’s sinking faster than the Titanic and what is the best way to turn around a slump because hockey fans always have opinions on THAT.

    Plus, we introduce “Say What Now?” - a new segment that looks at the crazy world of Hockey Broadcast Lingo. In “Hockey Tidbits”, Deb talks about her delightful Hockey Advent Calendar, photos of which will be posted daily on the Beginner’s Puck Twitter feed.

    So ignore all that real hockey, it’s just terrible. Listen to us instead!

    And hey, tweet us any crazy hockey descriptions you’ve come across. That’s way more fun than reading yet another hot take on which player/coach/system is killing our teams. Hockey, man…it’s brutal.

    Twitter: @BeginnersPuck

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    November 10, 2017 NHL Stats CarCast
    16 CarCast!

    Deb and Erika come roaring back to Beginner’s Puck…in a minivan. Welcome to the first Beginner’s Puck CarCast! Join us as we record on the New Jersey turnpike on our way to the Edmonton Oilers vs. New Jersey Devils game in beautiful downtown Newark, NJ. We talk about what we’ve been watching, how our teams are doing and how hockey is both the best and worst.

    AND BONUS! Steven Schapansky of the Hockey Feels podcast joins us, dropping insights about working video at the Oilers’ games and starring in a new “What The Puck?” where we discuss the NHL stat headers. He also held the microphone while Deb drove. What a guy!

    If you’d like to hear a post-game CarCast - pop over to Hockey Feels where Deb and Erika join Steven and his co-host Rachel as they break down the game on their way to Long Island!

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    October 2, 2017 Social Media and Waivers
    15 Waive(r) Your Hands In the Air Like You Just Don’t Care

    It’s almost here…the High Holy Day of Hockey…Opening Night! But first Erika and Deb catch up on their pre-season viewing, baby hockey players, the social media conundrum and the hard work of creating a roster.

    In “What the Puck” we explain the process of assigning players and putting a player on waivers. There is angst involved, people.

    Now the rosters are gelling, the skates are sharp and the ice is cold. Are you ready for some hockey? Because we can’t wait!

    As always, hit us up on Twitter or email if you have any hockey questions you’d like us to discuss. We are here for you. * hand on heart *

    Twitter: @BeginnersPuck

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    August 7, 2017 Summer Boredom Busters
    14 What We Did During Our Summer Vacation

    It’s a surprise summer episode! Catch up with Deb and Erika as they recap what’s been going on in Hockeylandia since they last got together (Trades, Free Agency, Piles o’ Cash Contracts, Oh My!) and what they’re doing over the summer to stave off the “There’s No Hockey I’m Dead Inside” Blues.

    As a summer surprise we announce our first Hockey Movie Night. Join us as we live tweet “The Ice Guardians” which will be followed by a podcast episode breaking down all the feelings.

    There are still weeks and weeks and weeks without hockey. What are you doing to stave off the bleakness? Drop us an email or tweet and let us know!

    Twitter: @BeginnersPuck

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    June 23, 2017
    13 Viva Las Draft

    With Erika galavanting through the U.K. Deb brings on a guest, Rachel Donner of the Hockey Feels Podcast, to talk about the NHL Awards, the Expansion Draft and what to expect from that OTHER draft.

    In a new “What the Puck” Deb pick’s Rachel’s brain in order to determine where all of the baby hockey players (aka “Prospects”) come from and where they go if they’re not quite ready for prime time. And Rachel give us a delightful Hockey Tidbit: The grand tradition of booing Commissioner Gary Bettman.

    Were there any surprises in the Expansion Draft? What do you think is the strategy behind the Vegas Golden Knight’s first round of picks? Hit us up on Twitter or email and let us know what you think!

    Twitter: @BeginnersPuck

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    June 15, 2017 Stanley Cup and NMC NTC UFA RFA
    12 A Cup of Alphabet Soup

    Hockey (the physical game) may be over but Hockey (the Machiavellian game) continues as we head into the Expansion Draft. Deb and Erika delve into The Great Hockey Hunger Games of 2017. There’s a-wheeling and a-dealing in Sin City, probably, and teams are a-scrambling to protect their assets - and asking players to, literally, take one for the team.

    Oh, and the Stanley Cup.

    Pittsburgh’s legacy is discussed as well as a brief overview of the beloved hunk of silver that will be hoisted over heads, wined, dined and probably end up in a pool before safely returned to Toronto.

    In a new “What the Puck?” We get into the NHL’s Alphabet Soup and explain NMC,NTC, UFA and RFAs. We are HERE for all your de-mystifying needs.

    Have a question or topic you’d like us to discuss? Find us on the Twitters!

    Twitter: @BeginnersPuck](

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    June 8, 2017 Stars and Combines
    11 Stories and Stars

    It’s a Game Day edition of Beginner’s Puck! Deb and Erika touch on the narratives coming out of this year’s Stanley Cup Final: the good, the bad, the catfish..but especially #Smashville and those fresh faced hockey boys Jake Guentzel and Freddy Gaudreau.

    We also chat about the NHL Livestock Auction. Whoops! The NHL COMBINE (easy mixup); important dates heading into the post-season and the Philadelphia Flyer’s new assistant coach. And in a new “What the Puck?” we explain Three Stars.

    Finally, Erika shares a fave hockey tidbit: The fist bump line. Okay, so it veers a little bit into a discussion on male intimacy and the culture of toxic masculinity but hockey is weird, okay?

    We’re getting down to the wire, kids. Do you think tonight’s game will decide it all? Hit us up on Twitter and let us know what you think!

    Twitter: @BeginnersPuck

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    May 27, 2017 Stanley Cup Finals/Cup Superstitions
    10 The Final Countdown

    After a crazy, exhausting, unpredictable playoff run that nearly killed Deb and Erika, the Nashville Predators and Pittsburgh Penguins punched their tickets and are heading to the Stanley Cup finals! (Bandwagon? What Bandwagon? We’ve always been #Smashville fans.) We also talk about the NHL’s flub with Getzlaf, The Swedish Men’s National Team’s fantastic World Cup win, Vegas Golden Knight’s new AHL affiliate, Craig Cunningham’s new role with the Coyotes and Steve Ott’s unexpected new role with the Blues. Plus, hockey keeps hockeying in the Calder and Memorial Cup races.

    In a ridiculous “What the Puck” we discuss Cup Superstitions and in this week’s Hockey Tidbit Deb expresses her love for sassy in-game music.

    Want to scream about hockey? Hit us up on Twitter or send us an email. Who needs music to be sassy?!

    Twitter: @BeginnersPuck

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    May 13, 2017 Round 3 Black Aces
    9 Tale of Two Cities

    There were a few dark days when Erika was v. sad and Deb broke up with hockey, but we’ve rallied and are back to talk about the heartbreak of Round 2 and the miles that separate the narratives of the Oilers and Capitals.

    We also touch on what’s happening the Men’s World Championship, France’s Cinderella story, and how the Flyers’ players can’t stop punching Captain Claude Giroux. And sure, Ben Bishop’s signing with the Dallas Stars is fun, but not as much fun as the convoluted way that Dallas gained a second first round pick. (Hint: Math and Magic.)

    In a SUPER RARE “What The Puck” and “#OldHockey” crossover we explain both the use and history of the term “Black Aces”.

    Finally, Erika closes out the show with a warm and fuzzy hockey tidbit: the handshake line.

    How are you surviving the playoffs, fam? Find us on Twitter and let us know your coping strategies.

    Twitter: @BeginnersPuck

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    May 4, 2017 Matching Lines
    8 Line ‘em Up, Knock ‘em Down

    Sure, the playoff run is going strong but what about that Draft Lottery? Deb and Erika give a brief primer on the Draft Lottery and discuss this year’s shocking results. They also note the first ripple in the pond for the expansion draft (aka “Hockey Hunger Games) with the release of the exempt players list.

    As a hockey podcast we are, of course, contractually obligated to discuss the Washington Capitals/Pittsburgh Penguin Concussiongate controversy. We might mention a few other playoff series as well.

    Finally, in “What the Puck” we explain lines, line matching and the strategy of managing a shift.

    Where do you weigh in on the controversy? Who do you think will go first in the Draft? Hit us up on Twitter or email and let us know!

    Twitter: @BeginnersPuck

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    April 26, 2017
    7 Round 2, with Icing On Top

    Deb and Erika give a eulogy to the dearly departed Round 1 and give our predictions (and hopes) for Round 2. Erika talks about being in the house for the deciding game between the Oilers and Sharks while Deb debates whether a shorter break between series will help or hurt the Caps.

    In other hockey news, the Coach-Go-Round continues, the deadline is approaching for the Men’s National Team’s final roster even as tired hockey boy Auston Matthews decides to sit this one out.

    On “What The Puck?” we discuss Icing; what it is, why it’s used and how the rule has changed.

    Hit us up on Twitter and let us know your Round 2 predictions!

    Twitter: @BeginnersPuck

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    April 22, 2017 Overtime
    6 OTT OT

    It’s an Over The Top Over Time episode of Beginner’s Puck! Your hosts are in the middle of a hockey playoff fever dream where, despite a slight oil spill, Erika is still riding high on her beloved Edmonton Oiler’s playoff run while Deb finds her allegiance shifting from the Caps to Team Chaos.

    The latest announcements from the USA and Men’s National Teams are discussed as well as the latest in the post-season Coach (and GM!) go-round.

    And, finally, in “What The Puck?” the ever-changing, wild and baffling “regular season” vs. “playoff season” overtime rules are explained.

    Are the bounces going your way, fam? Remember, whatever happens, they’re good hockey boys. And if you have any hockey newbie questions remember, we’re here for you. Drop us a line or a tweet and let us know what you think!

    Twitter: @BeginnersPuck

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    April 13, 2017 Playoffs and Windows
    5 Closing Doors, Opening Windows

    It’s a super-sized episode for super-sized hockey. Yes, we are entering that golden time known as “The Playoffs”. Erika gives us a peek into what it’s like in the Land of the Orange Crush while Deb decides to whom she will pledge her playoff troth.

    Despite everyone’s focus on the blessed 16, the hockey world is still spinning. Heads were rolling on teams that didn’t make the cut, staffing for Worlds is heating up and we discuss the importance of a good announcer.

    In “What the Puck?” we talk about The Window: what it is, whose is opening and whose is closing.

    And, of course, Deb and Erika review their playoff brackets.

    Who do you have taking the Cup? Do you have a favorite radio and/or television announcer? Drop us a comment or tweet and let us know!

    Twitter: @BeginnersPuck

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    April 5, 2017 Olympics and EBUGS
    4 Should They Stay or Should They Go?

    This week Edmonton is turning orange which leads Erika and Deb down the fruitless - but always amusing - path of which team has the best jersey. The bittersweet joy of watching the new kids skate with the eliminated teams is discussed and there is a bit of a disagreement between your hosts over the NHL’s decision to sit out the 2018 Winter Olympics.

    In this week’s “What The Puck?” the weird and wonderful phenomenon known as the “Emergency Back-up Goaltender” (EBUG) is explained.

    Finally, in this week’s Hockey Tidbit, Deb thinks the tradition of rookie solo warmup laps is adorable, even if they’re not a surprise.

    Do you agree with the NHL’s Olympic decision? Drop us a comment or tweet and let us know!

    Twitter: @BeginnersPuck

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    March 30, 2017 OldHockey
    3 #OldHockey

    This week Erika is riding the high of a clinched playoff spot while Deb is consoling herself with Mitch Marner gifs and wondering who will be her playoff team.

    We also discuss the Benn v. Benn narrative, the end of the U.S. Women’s National team’s battle with USA Hockey, jersey controversies and the crazy, convoluted pedigree of NHL teams.

    In our new segment #OldHockey (Hockey history no one really needs to know but will impress the heck out of your friends and family. Probably.) we delve into the Original Six, who they are and why anyone cares.

    Did your team make the cut? If not, who will be your “Mr. Right Now”? Drop us a comment or tweet and let us know!

    Twitter: @BeginnersPuck

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    March 18, 2017 NHL Standings
    2 Leagues of Their Own

    It’s a great hockey week for Erika, not so much for Deb, as they discuss the run for the playoffs. They then delve into the U.S. Women’s National Team’s decision to boycott the Women’s World Championship’s being held later this month.

    In “What the Puck?” Deb and Erika break down the league, conference and divisions of the NHL and why every point counts as teams fight for a Wild Card position.

    Note: Deb does not actually think any hockey organizations, or players, actually went into the desert to lick frogs.

    How do you feel about the US WNT’s decision? Is your team on the wrong side of the Wild Card race? Let us know what you think!

    Twitter: @BeginnersPuck

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    March 14, 2017 Defense
    1 In Defense Of…

    Deb and Erika discuss the dismal performances of our home teams; the New Kid (Connor McDavid) v. The Old Kid (Sidney Crosby); and the Pittsburgh Penguins controversial decision to call up defenseman Tom Sestito for their game against the Winnipeg Jets.

    In “What the Puck?”, they define and break down what is a defenseman and the role he plays on the team.

    How do you feel about the changing role of the defenseman? Do you think there’s still a place for fighting in modern hockey?

    Let us know what you think!

    Twitter: @BeginnersPuck

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    March 8, 2017 The puck drops!
    0 Origin Story

    Once upon a time, at a Doctor Who convention, two hockey fans had a great idea and a hockey podcast was born.