2019 NHL All-Star Game: Which hockey clichés do superstars love to use?


SAN JOSE -- Claude Giroux leaned into the microphone placed directly in front of him, and gave an answer he surely has spoken a few times before.

“Yeah, we just gotta keep it simple,” the Philadelphia Flyers center said Thursday night. “When it’s not going your way, I guess, you just gotta put it deep.”

He hesitated a bit.

“I think that’s the one,” he said with a smile. 

Giroux didn't say this from a podium after a game, but from one inside City National Civic on Thursday night’s media day ahead of the 2019 NHL All-Star Game. And this time, he was asked to give his favorite hockey cliché. 

Keeping it simple. Getting the puck deep. If you’ve watched a professional hockey player in an interview before, during and after a game, you’re surely familiar with Giroux’s words.

And the litany of others he did not say Thursday, such as the pair that were on the tip of Vancouver Canucks rookie sensation Elias Pettersson's tongue. 

“The first that comes to mind is, 'You get the puck to the net. Get bodies in front,' " he told NBC Sports California, adding that “[getting] the puck deep” is another one of his favorites.

The 20-year-old Swede has played in Vancouver for fewer than four months, and all of 40 games. Yet he quipped that some clichés already are starting to become a part of his press-conference vernacular. 

Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson said he didn’t have a particular cliché in mind. For him, the conversational context is key, as is the result of the game.

"Yeah, usually if you there's a win, you have one or two,” Gibson said when asked if he has different clichés in mind if his team is winning or losing. “If there's a loss, I'm sure you've heard it all. 'We didn't get the pucks deep, or turnovers' and all that stuff, right?"

All that stuff is so commonplace, and it makes sense as to why. Clichés are quick, catchy and easily repeatable. Perhaps most importantly, though, a good hockey cliché succinctly or accurately describes the action it’s describing. 

There’s a reason we’ve heard them all before. 

"It's just something you always hear, so you go with it," Gibson said. 

The same can be said about the awareness of their mere existence, and the subsequent winking acknowledgement. Hockey clichés are so widespread that knowing them has become, well, something of a cliché.

Moments after Giroux divulged his favorite expressions and he was wrapping up his podium session, New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal took the stage with NHL Network host Jackie Redmond.

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After a few questions, she wrapped up with one more: What’s Barzal’s “favorite, go-to hockey cliche?” 

“I don’t know … get the puck deep,” Barzal said with a laugh. “Get the legs going.”

Those who follow, cover, or play hockey are aware of the oft-used expressions. They know what they mean, when to use them and which ones could line up a bingo card on any given night. That’s not to say you’ll stop hearing them anytime soon. 

After all, sometimes you just gotta keep it simple.

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