Grabbag style today, as not a whole lot going on last night.
Ryan Fitzpatrick has become the NFL’s own Caine from “Kung Fu,” floating from town to town having adventures, leaving the people with a different perspective, and then heading somewhere new to do it all again. Adam Schefter has him signing in Washington for next season. This will be Fitzmagic’s ninth stop on his tour, providing some empty thrills and highlights before his team figures out a real plan at QB and Fitz heads to the next town. WFT is picking 19th this season, which only really would have them in line for the fifth or sixth QB in the draft, so trying to piece it together with Fitz and Taylor Heinicke until you can figure out a better plan seems to be the way they’re going. It’s Washington, it doesn’t have to make sense. Also, it’s the NFC East, where if you can remain standing and occasionally face the right direction, you can compete for the division crown. Fitzpatrick can manage that.
Hopefully, this is how Fitzy keeps going. Let him get to 15 teams. When you don’t have a plan, when you need to buy yourself a year, when you need just enough wins to convince your fans that they need to hang on just a bit longer and that you’re not an idiot, and if you can find him, maybe you can sign … Fitzpatrick.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is on one again. He racked up his third straight triple-double in the Bucks 133-122 win over the Wizards. Racking up a triple-double against Russell Westbrook is somewhere in the same family as Joker telling Harvey Dent, “I took your plan and turned it on itself.” The win keeps MIlwaukee in touching distance of Brooklyn and Philadelphis for the conference’s top seed.
It’s hard to shake the feeling that any streak of brilliance from Giannis is just another tease, given what’s happened in the playoffs the past two seasons. Pointedly, only one of Giannis’s field goals came from three, and he only attempted two. It’s easy enough to drive straight to the bucket against a Wizards team that’s barely interested or conscious, but everyone is still waiting for a touch more variety from the Greek Freak.
Still, it misses the point to keep trying to put performances from a player like this into a larger context. You can drive yourself nuts doing that, and end up in a very dark place. Much like I wrote about Drew Brees last night, if everything only serves the larger purpose, you miss the journey. Everyone can enjoy a good squash match, after all.
It gets worse for the Sabres. They lost their 11th straight game last night, it’s unknown when Jack Eichel might play again (or if he’ll ever play for the Sabres again), and shit like this is happening to one of their only building blocks:
Thankfully for Rasmus Dahlin, Carter Hutton bailed him out of being everyone’s figure of fun for the next month. Oh, and in those 11 losses they’ve been outscored 48-17. However, the Sabres play the Devils tonight, and the Devils have lost 11 straight home games. This is Hadron Collider stuff, people.
Alex Ovechkin might not have used Dahlin’s soul completely as a dish rag on that play, but he did score later on the game which is #717 in his career. It ties him with Phil Esposito for sixth all-time. If Ovie closes with a flourish this season he might catch Marcel Dionne for fifth all-time, which will set him up next season for an assault on the peak.
Lockouts and the pandemic have robbed Ovechkin of basically two seasons’ worth of play, otherwise he might already be the third member of the 800-goal club. Whether he gets there or not, he is the game’s greatest goal-scorer in history, given the atmosphere in which he plays. He might need another five seasons to catch 99, and that’s asking a lot of a player already in his mid-30s. Wouldn’t be against him, though.