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by Kolby Solinsky

Editor, White Cover Magazine

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Playoff atmosphere.

They call it like that – the never-defined ‘they’ – whenever something otherwise regular
is held over the simmer, when for whatever reason a mid-November school night can be sold as something greater. And on Thursday night, Rogers Arena was the only place that mattered. If you were in Rogers Arena, that is. And there hasn’t been a buzz in there for a long time now, perhaps not since the stakes were truly as high as they’ve ever been.

On Thursday, with Ryan Kesler returning atop the bow of another army’s viking ship, I found myself in the seats my family’s owned and shared for some time, elated when the Canucks plucked Freddy Andersen for three second-period goals, then terrified late when Vancouver inexplicably fell on their heels, then just tortured and hoping for relief when the game went into overtime, and finally the shootout.

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by Kolby Solinsky

Editor, White Cover Magazine

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This job’s hard sometimes.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s not really, truly hard or anything. I’m not breaking brick, forking a field for minimum wage, or taking orders from King Joffrey. But it’s difficult to pretend to care, basically all the time, about stuff like the Canucks. Or the NHL. Or whatever, anything like that.

And into the middle of November, we’re all just trying. The nights are longer, the air is colder, and your bed is so much warmer. So here’s to another wasted week spent trying to draw answers and conclusions out of an NHL season that’s too young to matter just yet.

The Ice Scrape Thing

So, the NHL has decided to scrap the scrape, meaning overtime won’t be preceded by that thing the Zambonis do where they drag they skirt around and smooth out the rink’s surface… you know, like your dog does on your carpet when it’s got an itchy butt.

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Perhaps I should care. I just can’t seem to.

The NHL will have ads on their jerseys, at some point in the near future. Again, that’s both as much detail as you need to know and as much detail as you can know. Such is the NHL’s way… their reveals are slow-burns, designed to hit you hard at first, then let you catch your breath, then tire yourself out with flung rage and empty protests that ultimately go nowhere (because, like we’ve seen in the past two lockouts, the league knows it has all Canadians by the nuts, and we’re going to watch no matter what they do), and then you’ll just freeze and slouch and take it. Take it all.

It’s the definition of settling. It’s realistic. But the best of us make the best of it.

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by Kolby Solinsky

Editor, White Cover Magazine

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Damned if you do… and you know the rest.

I sort of applauded the NHL and Stephane Quintal last week, when they suspended Alex Burrows three games for his high and late hit on Montreal’s Alexei Emelin. I’m a Canucks fan, so I didn’t want to see Burrows suspended. And I don’t think, for second, he was trying to do anything sinister on the play – he was trying to finish his check on Emelin, take the defender out of the play, and an unfortunate, cosmic motion of each man’s body (Burrows aiming above a head that lowered and moved right, Emelin apparently not aware of who was there) put Alex’s hands in Alexei’s eyes, which left the blueliner clipped and stunned, lying on the ice recovering while the Canucks took the puck and scored on Carey Price.

Burrows’ only intentional error on the play was that he was late. He could have avoided Emelin. The hit to the head was marginal and passing, but when you make a silly mistake you have to bear responsibility for what happens next, in relation to your first mistake.

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by Kolby Solinsky

Editor, White Cover Magazine

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People who say silly things must hate the Internet.

The silly things they say just never go away. It happens to me all the time, and fair enough. I write a lot, therefore I get a lot wrong. Or take the case of Vancouver Canucks’ defenceman Kevin Bieksa, who still won’t wear a visor on his helmet, even after seeing his 2011 teammate Manny Malhotra nearly lose his vision and his career, or after seeing Marc Staal’s face cave in like the pastry under Jason Biggs in American Pie. (I mean, just watching Staal’s legs writhe around on the ice after that clip is enough to make any on-the-fence parent pull their kids from the sport.)

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Two-way forward.

It should be insulting. It’s such a backhanded compliment, a condescending and offensive way of fake-boosting someone up when you’re just uncomfortable with saying how you really feel. Like reviewing a movie with, ‘Well, the cinematography was great.’

And it’s too bad for young Bo Horvat, the 19-year-old Canucks rookie who’s playing right into the joke.

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So, Tom Brady is still Tom Brady.

He was once the GOAT. He may still be, but it’s funny how fast-forwarding to the end sort of ruins the movie, and Brady (of course) couldn’t. It would have been magical if he had won those three Super Bowls in his first four years, and then maybe his reputation could have been saved by some tragic, career-ending injury. All the talk would have been, ‘Imagine what we could have become.’ There would have been no debate of Brady v. Manning… it wouldn’t have mattered, because Peyton would have been fighting a ghost. Brady would have gone down like Gale Sayers or (that other semi-famous New England athlete) Bobby Orr, and the traditionalists would have stammered and slobbered while they explained to their kids or whoever’d gather ’round, ‘Oh, you have no idea how great he was.’ If he cut it short after four seasons, Brady wouldn’t have been rich. But folk heroes never are. Peyton would have been the flashy one, with the commercials and the SNL appearances and the pretty average postseason record.

But of course, since that last championship in 2004, Brady has lost two Super Bowls. Sure, Manning has lost the same amount, but he also won one – and that lack of a Super Bowl was, to be sure, the only knock Manning’s legacy had. Until 2007.

And it’s funny, you skip a few scenes and we only remember slices and frames.

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by Kolby Solinsky

Editor, White Cover Magazine

LINE - White Cover Magazine

Yeah, yeah. Carey Price is the best goaltender in, like, forever. PK Subban, PK Subban, PK Subban. And of course, there’s the whole ‘home crowd’ thing… basically half of Rogers Arena erupted whenever Montreal did anything excellent last night, and they nearly blew the roof off the place when Max Pacioretty tied things at two late in the third period. It was cool to see, sure. And the red sweaters look just sweet. But it was also pretty damn embarrassing – there were more Miiii-llllerrrr chants (in a mocking way) and there were more CA-REY! chants (in a pump-up way) than there was a wave or a Go-Canucks-Go. And really, when you’re wearing a Canucks t-shirt in the Canucks’ building, you sort of just want to cower away and wait for the win to work itself out.

Last night, the Habs inhabited Vancouver. (Get it?)

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I’m happy to proudly cheerlead for my friend Richard Loat – a pal of my other programs, so to speak – who is currently on a StartUp Bus through Europe, the sort of ‘incubating’ roadshows that combines Entrepreneuers (like Vancouver’s Loat) with Hackers, pitting them both against and alongside each other, tasking them to build a business in 72 hours.

The bus ends in that beautiful, relaxingly cosmopolitan and elegant capital city of Vienna, Austria – after a 100,000 kilometre journey – and Loat and his team will pitch their new company ‘PeopleRank’ at the 2014 Pioneers Festival

But what is PeopleRank?

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Welcome to Plinko.

The middle. The blender, the juicer. I like to think of NHL seasons that way, and I think I sort of have to. Because it’s not very easy to write about these teams and these players all the time. If you’re going to try to find a conclusion from each game, and if you’re going to treat each note in a very long ballad like it really matters on its own, then you’re going to fail. Writing about sports can suck… and your peers litter their tomes with cliches and needlessly short first lines (like, welcome to Plinko) to the point that they all sound the same. And it’s not fun to read, unless the writer is saying something you already believe. But it’s not their fault because, like I said, writing about sports can suck. And it’s hard – it’s hard to make things matter over and over, especially when they don’t and won’t. Because, eight months later, only one team will win a Stanley Cup. And then all 30 of them start over, including the champion.

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