Questions about special teams: players and strategies that are important during non-standard game play. Special teams include power plays and penalty kills in ice hockey, and kicking and punting in American football.
Special teams is a term to describe the game play that occurs during certain scenarios in ice hockey and American football. In ice hockey, special teams refers to non-5-on-5 play caused by penalties. This encompasses power plays and penalty kills alike, and even-strength play with reduced numbers. Specific players may be special-teams experts, such as a penalty kill specialist; however, there are typically no players whose only roll occurs on special teams.
In American football, special teams refer to the kicking and punting aspect of the game. Some players (such as the kicker, punter, or snapper) may only play during special teams situations. Often times, some players may have specialties in an area of special teams, such as returning kicks, but will also have a non-special teams role on the team.