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WANTED: Adjectives & Adverbs

by Jen Sharpe / Edmonton Oilers

We may be only eight or so games into the season, but I must admit that I am already struggling with a significant issue on game nights. No, I’m not talking about resisting the press box popcorn and ice cream (although that IS quite a challenge) – I’m talking about terminology.


Here’s the deal: By my quick calculations, I’ve got about 180 game recaps on my resume. I’ve so clogged up the Internet with hockey stories that I feel sorry for those other Jen Sharpes out there who are trying to make a name for themselves. They may have more luck going the “Jennifer” route, but how many famous Jennifers are out there? It’s impossible to think of even one.

Ask any other award winning author and they will tell you that after writing 180 game recaps, the words just don’t flow like they used to. While it’s true that there are countless ways to win a game, all that really matters is who got the black disc past the big masked dude more times. Usually, this process takes 60 minutes. Sometimes it takes 65. On rare – but exciting! – occasions it takes a bit longer.

I know I’m simplifying this, but that’s my point: hockey is a simple game, however hockey fans aren’t simple people. We all know that it’s the goals that really matter, but the saves, hits, fights, penalties, breakaways, shootouts, face-offs and blocked shots are the oh-so delicious icing on the already-delicious cake.


As hockey fans, you dig the details like a toddler digs whipped topping. And as the Oilers game recap writer, I am tasked with maintaining your hockey sugar high for as long as the season shall live.

Which brings me to my REAL point (I swear): My word reserve is running low, and I need some suggestions for new terms that I can incorporate into my game recaps. Part of the problem is that I only have a few seconds to summarize an event before posting it into the live recap. This short turnaround leaves very little opportunity for creative thinking, and I feel my recaps are suffering as a result.

By creating a short (or long) list of useful terms, I will be able to more quickly and creatively summarize Oilers games on Here are some terms and phrases that I severely overuse and would like to find suitable replacements for:

GOAL DESCRIPTIONS: “lit the lamp,” “made one count,” “got it over the line,” “hit the back of the net”

SHOT DESCRIPTIONS: wired, fired, wristed, snapped, surprised, tapped, attempt, “through traffic,” “caught the rebound,” “redirected the rebound”


SAVE DESCRIPTIONS: smothered, snagged, denied, “shut the door,” “closed the gate,” “prevented the puck from crossing the line”

FIGHT DESCRIPTIONS: battle, duel, scrap, “dropped their gloves”

POWER PLAY DESCRIPTIONS: swarmed, smothered, man-advantage, “suffered another scoreless power play,” “took advantage of the man-advantage,” “saw the power play pass without a goal,” “capitalized on the man-advantage”

PENALTY KILL DESCRIPTIONS: overwhelmed, resisted, “serve his full two minutes”

GENERAL DESCRIPTIONS: opening/middle/final frame, tail end, stellar, textbook

I don’t want to sound pathetic, but if you review my 180-ish previous game recaps, I bet you’ll find at least 75% of these terms and phrases in each and every one. Sigh.

I need some new material. Post your new game recap phrases and terms below and I will be forever grateful. Be creative, keep it clean, and maybe you can be a footnote in an upcoming Oilers game recap!*

*Note: footnotes will not be incorporated into actual Oilers game recaps

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