A portion of the ice that has been divided into three parts using the two blue lines as dividers. The three zones include the offensive zone, defensive zone and neutral zone.
Zones, for the most part, do not matter that much, other than for descriptive purposes and outlining how players should play if they do or do not have the puck in each zone. However, some rules regarding hand passes, throwing the stick at the puck and shooting the puck out of play in the defensive zone have different consequences if you commit them in the defending zone than in other areas of the ice.
Other names for the zones include attacking zone for the offensive zone, and centre ice for the neutral zone. Some fans, when buying tickets to games, will prefer to sit at the attacking or offensive zone end in periods one and three for their favorite team in order to get a better view of goals they hope will be scored.