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Puckdoku Scoring In Popularity With Hockey Fans

In hockey circles, the phrase, ‘He shoots, he scores,’ is as well-known a part of the sport’s vernacular as the puck and the net in which the puck is shot into to score a goal.

With Puckdoku, hockey fans are being asked to take nine shots of their own to determine just how well they know the people who are playing their favorite game.

From their site @puckdoku on the social media X, formerly known as Twitter, every day at 3 p.m. ET a new game of Puckdoku drops. They’ve been delivering their unique version of hockey-flavored Wordle since July of 2023.

To say it’s a challenging endeavor is a master of understatement. By comparison, trying to cash a winning bet at Online Sports Betting sites might be considered an easier task.

The game is very similar in format to Wordle, with the unique distinction that every correct answer is an NHL player, either past or present. The nine shots are in reference to the nine shots you get to fill in a Puckdoku grid. 

How Puckdoku Is Played

Similar to Wordle, there are nine spots to fill in on the 3×3 Puckdoku grid. Across the top and down the left side of the grid are NHL team logos. Categories for competition include player positions, player stats, player awards wins and career and single-season honors. 

For instance, suppose there was an Edmonton Oilers logo in the top left corner and a Columbus Blue Jackets logo in the upper left corner and the category is defensemen. In this Puckdoku, the solution for that spot would be a defenseman who played for both the Oilers and Blue Jackets. To be an eligible answer, the player – in this case specifically a defenseman – must have played at least one game for each of the two teams. 

You receive nine total guesses, or shots as they’re called in Puckdoku, to successfully fill in the nine-player grid. Once a player has been selected correctly, they can’t be used again in the puzzle. The more unique your final correct grid is compared to others completed that day, the higher your score will be.

Season stats (and awards) must have occurred in a season in which the player played for that team. Career stats include only the stats compiled when playing for that team. Career awards (such as Hockey Hall Of Fame) include players who played at least one game for that team. 

Once you’ve taken your nine shots, if you’ve failed to correctly fill out the grid, hover over or click on each box to see the most recent players that fit the criteria.

There are three modes that you can play. Basic mode is to simply fill in nine correct answers. Front runner mode requires you to match that day’s most popular correct answers. Sicko mode demands that you come up with the rarest of names to fill in the grid. There’s also cheater mode, with which you first research your answers before filling them into the grid. Not exactly a challenging or impressive method for playing the game.

Puckdoku is available to be played at

An Instant Hit

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As a quiz that is all about Canada’s national game, fittingly Puckdoku launched on Canada Day – July 1, 2023. Creator Taylor Dixon, after coming up with the idea, sent a Puckdoku sample to popular hockey writer Sean McIndoe. McIndoe then tweeted it out to his more than 150,000 followers, and a phenomenon was born.

“Everyone was posting their scores on Twitter,” Dixon said. “This isn’t just one or two people, I realized. I’m scrolling, scrolling.

“It’s been pretty steady ever since, 40,000, 50,000 people every day.”

Puckdoku has 10,000 followers on X. 

Dixon got the inspiration for Puckdoku after listening to McIndoe – better known in hockey circles as DownGoesBrown – and fellow hockey writer Ryan Lambert compete in a Sudoku-like hockey-themed quiz on their Puck Soup podcast.

Dixon, a diehard Vancouver Canucks fan who lives in Calgary and works as a software engineer, designed the game all by himself. It took him all of four days of writing code from start to finish. 

“I thought I could build that, but it could be a pain,” Dixon told Postmedia. “I sat with it for a couple days, then decided to do it.”

Dixon strives to keep making unique grid combinations. 

“I look at my data and try to look for ones that I have data for that tracks historically, that’s consistent with other categories I’ve done before and is something the players can understand,” Dixon explained. 

He’s amazed by the response he’s had from hockey fans who thrive on their daily Puckdoku play.

“It’s been fun to see how far people take it,” Dixon said. “This guy sent me a photo of his obscure hockey cards, laid out in the same pattern as the grid he’d completed that day.

“The hockey community has been really awesome with this whole thing. Even when I get emails pointing out statistical errors, they’re often prefaced with ‘I absolutely love the game.’ It’s been really cool to connect with the community this way.”

Looking For Puckdoku Tips

The hockey media has also been feeding into the Puckdoku craze. Many NHL sites have been offering lists of players from the team they cover that would work as unique or rare Puckdoku answers. 

Other factors to keep in mind – Dixon operates in franchise mode. Thus, players who suited up for the Quebec Nordiques also count as answers for the Colorado Avalanche. Likewise, a Hartford Whalers player will also work as a correct answer for the Carolina Hurricanes. 

Dixon works with hockey sites and as official statistical sources for his Puckdoku grids. He’s even enlisted other members of the hockey media as guest Puckdoku grid creators. 

Lately, he’s also been expanding the scope of Puckdoku, taking his grids beyond the NHL. He’s done Puckdoku grids covering European hockey teams, as well as women’s hockey to coincide with the launch of the new Professional Women’s Hockey League.