We’re already getting headlines painting doom for the Ducks.

Instead of dreaming of a Stanley CuLinkp, Anaheim Ducks fans might just want to wish for good health in the New Year.

Of course. It’s almost boilerplate when a top team stumbles for a bit. But take any team’s top two goalies, a Norris trophy winning defenseman, and two other top 4 defenders out of the lineup, along with the team’s #2 penalty killer, and shit is going to happen.

And it’s not like they’ve been blown out, either, even with their goalie who was just playing in the ECHL. I’m sure they’ll get stuck a little behind Buffalo in the Preznit’s trophy race, and Nashville may get close, but no one’s talking about San Jose’s catastrophes lately, either.

Let’s see how things go when they get just one of the top goalies back.

Fuck ATA

6 hour delay in Maui, with no real explanation, and no willingness to really do anything about it. I’ve never been treated this poorly by an airline, and I could bitch for hours at shenanigans of other airlines, but this takes the cake. A new low.

Fuck ’em.

Pens March Out of PA?

Mario says they are exploring relocation. Whether this is just puffery or not, there’s been a lot of talk of this for a long time.

I can’t think of a better idea. The next three largest markets in Canada are: Quebec City-Levis, Winnipeg/Brandon, and Kitchener. All in all, I’m probably most in favor of a second Toronto team, or a suburban one, like Kitchener. (“The Ontario Penguins?”)

The Pittsburgh Problem

I’ve known this for over 10 years. If you don’t give Canada affirmative action or subsidy, or whatever you call it, you aren’t watering the roots of hockey, and the farthest reaching branches will die no matter how bright their blooms may be.

The NHL blocking even the notion of the Penguins moving to Canada is myopic, stupid, and greedy. There are many cities with a weaker hockey tradition than Pittsburgh, but as of right now, none of those teams have teams that have been economic failures despite the presence of three very huge stars spanning the last 22 years.

This is the same league, after all, that took hockey away from Minnesota for over 5 years.

The money-men around Bettman and New York insist that the NHL have a presence is as many major media markets as possible, so they can have their revenues. One step. No vision. Underlying that is the simple fact that the list of major hockey markets is not the same as general media markets. Further complicating the picture is the fact that the game needs to play to its base, as it were, and keep itself #1 in Canada (and Minnesota, for that matter) if it’s going to continue to draw the talent it needs to have any star power.

We need three more teams in Canada, and three less teams in the American South. But until one of those teams is a failure, I don’t see any reason why Pittsburgh can’t do without.

Windows Deathwatch 3

The Free Software Foundation has begun a campaign called “BadVista.” That alone doesn’t mean much for the impact Vista will or won’t have. What is amazing is how little original content they need to generate.

Aside from just that bias list, the IT media consensus is definitely: don’t rush to upgrade. That alone means that the death of the Windows OS is very likely. Windows hasn’t needed a killer app to sell itself since version 2.0.

Compound that with the fact that very few people really have any idea exactly what technical advantages Vista has. XP was the first NT-based OS to have reliable game play and development. That meant that you could run it and run everything. Vista doesn’t offer anything except the most incremental improvements in middleware features that open the door to things like better game play.

At least Office 2007 attempts a new UI that is somewhat cool, but mostly not all that impressive. Different, yes. Better, I don’t know.

It will ultimately take a killer app to make most people pony up for the new hardware it will take to run Vista competently.

The potential wedge here is that if that app is a business app that has little home use, like some kind of revolution in Power Point (using a Wii remote??), it may have no traction in the home, where Apple’s iTV might. (I think a desktop OS based cable/media box with internet connectivity will be the next killer app for the home but may not be mutually exclusive with the “computer”)

Microsoft is competent at business applications, but not so great at home stuff… so I see them going in that direction, and ultimately losing control of the home desktop.