Online Etiquette

This information has been modified from the original post created by @kingraph

From time to time different issues come up in regards to sportsmanship, or etiquette in playing NHL’95 online vs. other players. This following is an etiquette guide, which I hope we can all contribute to, in an attempt to minimize conflicts.


Contacting Other Coaches: If you ask the other guy to play, don't ask him how many games you have. Since you're asking to play, you are probably not as busy, so look it up yourself.

  • If you ask the other guy to play, don't ask him to host first. Since you're asking to play, you are probably more ready to play than him, so you should be able to get your emulator up and running and hosting first.

Initial Set-Up: Player 1 (home team) typically takes responsibility for adjusting the settings (time, penalties, players, etc.) Player 2 can also do this but Player 2 should hesitate just a moment before doing so to give Player 1 a chance to take charge.

  • The player who handles the settings should choose his team first and then allow his opponent's to move. This will also allow both users to know if there is a controller issue.

  • If you want to use the default team (that is, the team your team selector starts on), just move off and back onto the team so that your opponent knows that you've made a decision and aren't just being lazy.

Matchups - Hot/Cold: Some players like to scroll through the hot/cold list and make lineup decisions based on that information, so be patient and don’t press start right away.

Setting Lines: Player 1 (home team) usually sets his lines first, followed by Player 2.

  • Player 1 can then change his lines again, since he is the home team and has 'last change,' in case he wants to match a D to a winger or something.

  • If you prefer the default lineup, scroll to Start Game (but don’t hit start) to signal your opponent that you are ready.

  • If you started the game before your opponent could set his lines (and you'll know this because he'll pause at the opening faceoff and make the changes), the right thing is to force a quick faceoff (I like lobbing the puck over the boards with the A button). Neither player should try to score immediately, until the correct lines are in place.


Pausing: In league games, try to make sure you have 15 minutes available so you don’t have to pause in the middle of gameplay. However, life happens, and if you do have to pause, try to do so when you are in control of the puck, in a “neutral” position, or during a break in the action. Explain to your opponent the situation.

Pausing when your opponent is in control of the puck or during action is EXTREMELY RUDE.

  • A pause, followed by a flicker up/down of the menu items signals "nice play". Used more frequently in exhibitions, it’s use should be limited in league play – and NEVER while the play is live as it is a disruption to your opponent.

  • A quick pause/unpause after a goal is usually a sign of frustration by your opponent. It can be used to stop the goal siren, and more commonly, used to stop the organ music (Buffalo Sabre Dance is the KING of annoying music). It also kills the crowd noise, but whether this actually has any effect on momentum is undetermined.

Replays: In general, avoid excessive replays. Everyone hits the post and everyone gets screwed by cheap goals on occasion.

  • Replays during league games should be extremely limited.

  • If you want to view a replay during the action, try and wait until a moment when you wouldn't disadvantage your opponent. That is, wait for a lull in the action where the puck isn't in danger and a scoring chance isn't imminent. Preferably, wait until you have the puck, though this is not always possible. IT IS EXTREMELY RUDE TO PAUSE THE GAME DURING AN OPPONENT'S RUSH OR WHEN HE HAS THE PUCK IN YOUR ZONE.

Calling Timeout: The original purpose of a timeout is to replenish your players’ energy during games with line changes. However, some players believe calling a timeout can change the flow of the game. Doing so is normal, but should only done after a goal is scored (see pausing)

IMing during games: It’s common to sign out/make yourself invisible on AIM during a league game to avoid messaging during a game that can cause lag and/or desynchs. Opponents can chat via the netplay window (P2P), server room, or hamachi chat. In general, avoid chatting in the middle of a league game. Some players have full-screens and an IM can be a major disruption. Please use your cellphone with DISCORD to communicate if there is any issues.

Line Changes (in-game): At the end of a period, wait a moment before hitting start in case your opponent wants to change his lines or look at the stats. The most common reason to change lines between periods is due to a player injury that lasted a period. If you want to do these things, be quick about them.

Wait until a stoppage in play to edit your lines or pause the game - don't ruin the flow of the game (see pausing). Please wait until a whistle blows to change your line. You might not realize it but your opponent may be starting his "move" before he's even crossing the blue line.

A common practice is to quickly make your line change at the end of a period before intermission.

Checking/Celebrating After Whistle: Some coaches like to check players as much as possible after a whistle. This is perfectly acceptable, and can be a fun side-game if both coaches like checking.

  • In the case of a blowout, continuing to check after you score your 7+ goal can be considered taunting, particularly if your opponent doesn’t check back.

  • If you are whistled for a penalty, try and take control of that player after the whistle and skate him over to the penalty box to save time. If you are getting the power play, don't knock down the player who committed the penalty after the whistle if you can help it.

Penalty Shot: If the goalie knocks the puck off your stick and the ref doesn't whistle the play dead, don't go get it and try for another shot! You got pokechecked, you're done! While that flaw may be "part of the game" to some, good etiquette says to let the time run out.

Running up the score: In league play, running up the score is normal. Considering league records, and potential standings implications, a player has the right to score as many goals possible. While the person on the receiving end may not like it, they should just say “gg” and move on.

  • A veteran running up the score on a newbie is uncalled for. We want to make the game fun and enjoyable for everyone and people can be discouraged if they are getting blown out.

Pulling the Goalie: Don't pull your goalie unnecessarily – Pulling the goalie in the 3rd period when you’re down by 1 or 2 goals is an acceptable action, but pulling the goalie earlier or when down 3+ goals ruins the fun factor for yourself and your opponent. Man up and put that goalie back in there or politely IM your opponent that you've had enough (does not apply in league games).

  • DON'T pull your goalie in your opponents zone! - If he's set his defense up & you have possession, pausing the game will generally cause him to lose control of his defenders on the restart, giving him no chance of defending your shot. Pull the goalie when you take possession in your own half, or between plays, before a faceoff (see pausing).

  • DON'T pull the goalie when you're winning big - Taunting your opponent by showing you don't even need a goalie on the ice really his the height of unsporting conduct. You don't have to ease up, but don't take the piss either!

Bugs (GENS):

  • Goalie Lock: - This occurs when you skate too far with the goalie and make an errant pass (usually into the boards), and then you are unable switch to another player. You become “locked” as the goalie, and to make matters worse, you don’t even have manual goalie – the goalie is also controlled by the CPU. You have no ability to do anything until one of your players receives the puck. The consensus says that this is a part of the game, and you have to deal with it. Pausing, quitting, etc. is NOT acceptable. Be careful and don’t let it happen. When this happens to your opponent, you have the right to score. However, you also have the right to cause a whistle as a sign of sportsmanship.

  • Post Whistle Penalty Shot: At the end of the period (or game!), if a player goes on a breakaway (hear the breakaway “beep”) and the other player checks him down, a penalty shot may result! This is part of the game and you have the right to score. The lesson learned here is to NOT hit a breakaway player after the whistle, and avoid the situation altogether.

  • Goal after the whistle: At the end of a play that would result in an ensuing penalty shot, if you shoot the puck during the stoppage (before the penalty shot), the puck will go in the net and score. Good sportsman on your part to pull your goalie and give up the equalizer goal, however you would have had a penalty shot that you no longer have. I can only hope this never happens on a game-winning or OT goal! Hopefully both players agree to a redo, but at the end of the day if it happens, you may just have to deal with it as part of the game.

  • Crease-cut goal: Not so much a bug, but this is where a player skates with the puck from the corner across the crease and when they start to shoot (usually backhanded) the goalie lays down (“takes a nap”) and it results in an easy goal. For the most part everyone agrees that it’s a cheap way to score, but at the same time also understands that its part of the game. It’s a defendable shot, so the team on defense just needs to recognize and adjust accordingly.


  • Say “GG” (Good game) and wait a moment because some guys want to look at the scoring/penalty summary or the stats.

  • We are damn lucky to be playing this ancient game with some good people. Every game is a good game. Certainly beats playing the CPU. So even when your online opponent goose egg'd ya 0-12 say "Good Game."