A marvelous article from Justin Bourne of Puck Daddy. Click the link below for the rest of this gem.

From the mid 1990s to the pre-lockout 2000s, hockey players trying to create offense basically had one goal when they didn’t have a clean look at the net: cycle the puck.

It was an era of hooks, holds and grabs which made getting to the net like slogging through a gauntlet set in quicksand, so your best bet was to maintain possession in the corner for as long as possible and hope for a breakdown, preferably in the form of simultaneous ankle injuries to both opposing defensemen. THEN you might have some room to create something.

After defenders had the ability to mindlessly pin a guy to the boards with a knee between his legs stripped from them — how in god’s name was that ever allowed? — we didn’t immediately see a change in that offensive strategy. Players continued to cycle the puck, only it looked more like some hot NASCAR action rather than something a hockey team should be doing in an attempt to score hockey goals.

I distinctly remember a college game in which our line cycled the puck for a good nine bump-backs and feeling a touch absurd, like we were still using some archaic premise that felt outdated in modern times, like using “thus” in writing.

Thus, something had to give.

Justin Bourne’s Spreading the Offense & Breaking the Cycle