State of the blogger: It’s slowly getting better, man

Hi, everybody. I wanted to post a short update to let you know how my depressive episode is going.

At present, there’s some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that, thanks to a combination of psychiatry, therapy and an increase in one of my antidepressants, I’m starting to come out of the fog, and while I don’t feel quite like myself yet, I’m getting there. The world is a lot brighter, and my desire to come back to work is that much stronger.

The bad news is that physical fatigue is still chasing me down and knocking me over. I’ve been able to get on Twitter and post during most games, but on the “off days,” my body’s forcing me to spend the vast majority of my time in bed, exhausted. I’m sure that being diagnosed as severely anemic is playing into the situation, but I also feel like my depressive fatigue hasn’t let go of me yet.

Most days, I feel like I’m getting closer to functional again (I don’t need to be at 100% to work!), but I’m still not quite out of the funk mentally, and physically, my depression is still kicking my butt.

I’m working said butt off to try and function when I am able, and the discipline of caring for my aunt helps significantly there, but I’m really struggling energy-wise.

As previously stated, despite having missed three months’ worth of the Red Wings’ season, I have every intent of coming back to work and covering both whatever of the season or offseason I can, and we’re going to have quite a few Wings and prospects playing at the World Championship in Finland, so there’s going to be a significant amount of Red Wings news for long into the late spring.

Long story short, I’ve made significant progress mentally, but the physical process of recovering from my depression is still an ongoing issue. That being said, I’m still coming back when I’m able. TMR is not dead yet; it’s hibernating, due to wake back up sooner than later.

I miss all of you (yes, all of you) and I hope that I’ll be able to talk hockey with you again soon.

Banged-up but battling

Hey everyone,

I know it’s been a long time since I posted a health update. I’m still dealing with what has become a major depressive episode.

It might be the worst one I’ve had in a couple of years as I’m dealing with both severe mental distress and significant physical discomfort.

This one has been rough for the past two-and-a-half months. During that time, I’ve been pretty bloody useless and in some pretty damn gloomy places, but I’m trying to fight every day to get better.

I’ve worked with my psychiatrist to increase my medication, and I’ve been speaking regularly with my therapist. Aunt Annie has been wonderfully supportive as well, and I know that there are many people who I only know through the internet who are rooting for me, and that keeps me from bottoming out.

I have been trying to follow the Wings as best I can during this time, but when one is really depressed, one’s concentration goes down, so I’ve not pored over every syllable. There are times that I’ve been too gloomy to even watch games, too, and those days have been particularly dark.

As the trade deadline approaches, not being able to talk hockey with you is really difficult and very disappointing.

I can’t promise that I’ll be back on Monday, here or on Twitter, but I will keep working to break through this depression and get back to working for you.

I miss my work. I miss my hockey friends. I miss talking about “my” Red Wings. I am working very hard to battle through a severe depressive episode. I hope to see you soon.

Trying to turn the corner

Everybody,

I’ve been dealing with a depressive episode for the past three weeks, and I’m finally starting to see some slow and steady improvement, but I’m still really struggling with energy and enthusiasm to do tasks, and as hard as I’m trying to at least be on Twitter during games, I’m aiming to return during the middle to end of this week, energy level permitting.

It’s been a rough go and I appreciate your kind words and support over the course of the past three weeks. I’m very grateful for your patience as I work through this pain in the butt.

Still dealing with depression

My apologies for the radio silence of late. I’m still dealing with my depressive episode, and while I’m just feeling “blah” mentally, the physical pain I’ve been going through over the past five days has been immense.

I’m dealing with it as best as I can, but I’m not quite sure when I’ll be able to battle through it and get back to work.

The truth of the matter is that every day I work I battle through some sort of physical or mental discomfort, and at times like these, it just gets to be too much to bear. I’ve spent a good chunk of time in bed just trying to deal with the pain by sleeping, and I hope that it eases up soon. I miss working and I want to get back to what I find to be a fulfilling job.

Fighting depression

I’m sorry about the absence over the last day. I’ve been fighting some pretty severe depression and anxiety and I haven’t been able to overcome it. It’s very frustrating as I want to work, but I’m really struggling to just get out of bed right now. I’m hopeful that I’ll be back by game time tomorrow night, but I’ve got to play things moment by moment and try to get myself out of the bottom of the pool first.

ESPN’s Wyshynski polls the PHWA, and everybody loves…Zegras

ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski posted an update on the various awards that the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association votes upon for ESPN+ this morning, and it should not surprise you that his polling of PHWA representatives confirmed that the Trevor Zegras Hype Machine has overtaken the Lucas Raymond one:

Calder Trophy (top rookie)

Leader: Trevor Zegras, C, Anaheim Ducks
Finalists: Lucas Raymond, LW, Detroit Red Wings; Moritz Seider, D, Detroit Red Wings

Ever since he set up Sonny Milano with a pass that went over the back of the net to the front of the crease, Zegras has been the center of an all-out fan and media lovefest. It also helps when he does press conferences with Baby Yoda strapped to his chest or becomes a meme after being frightened by Kevin Shattenkirk dressed as a giant teddy bear:

Of course, it also helps that he’s a dynamic hockey player, too. Zegras has 25 points in 30 games, including eight goals, while skating 17:08 per game. He’s basically living in the attacking end, with 83% offensive zone starts. But he’s getting results.

Raymond, who led the Calder Awards Watch race last month, still leads NHL rookies in goals (10, tied with Tanner Jeannot of Nashville), points (29) and points per game (0.85). As our survey of voters might indicate, his buzz has been dwarfed by that of Zegras. But rookie of the year honors are typically linked to offensive stat leaders for forwards.

If Raymond can continue his consistent play — he hasn’t gone more than two straight games without a point this season — he’ll likely end up leading in some offensive categories. The betting market still likes him, too, as his +140 odds make him the favorite for the award ahead of Zegras (+200).

Two other factors to note: Zegras had 24 games of experience in 2020-21 and is just over a year older than Raymond, who is 19. Not saying these should be factors, mind you.

Seider was actually named atop more ballots than Raymond in our poll of voters. He’s been by far the best rookie defenseman in the league, averaging 22:24 in ice time per game, generating 22 points in 34 appearances and getting the opposite of “protection” in his deployment, with over 50% defensive zone starts. He’s playing on the power play and the penalty kill for the Red Wings. Not as flashy as previous Calder defensive darlings like Makar and Hughes; just a solid rookie playing like an old pro.

Other rookies of note: Red Wings goalie Alex Nedeljkovic, who was a Calder finalist last season but is still eligible this season; Jeannot, the Predators forward who keeps hitting the scoresheet consistently; Devils forward Dawson Mercer, who is excelling in all situations; Maple Leafs forward Michael Bunting and Panthers forward Anton Lundell, who are having solid seasons but won’t likely catch up to the offensive leaders. One wild card: Ducks defenseman Jamie Drysdale, the only player in the conversation with Seider.

Continued (paywall); Zegras made a beautiful play, don’t get me wrong, and I get that he is media and soundbyte friendly in a world where Raymond and Seider both possess, “Aw, shucks” personalities. I’m sure that Zegras is going to have a hell of a career.

But as someone who is partial to Raymond and Seider, I watch them making small plays, subtle plays, and I see truly special things happening. I grew up in the early days of Sergei Fedorov’s career and watching Nicklas Lidstrom and Vladimir Konstantinov as rookies, and I’m not afraid to say that I see some similar qualities in Raymond and Seider.

The Athletic’s power rankings involve a discussion of…Filip Zadina’s status as a healthy scratch

The Athletic’s Sean Gentille and Dom Luszczyszyn have posted their weekly set of power rankings, and they’re talking about Filip Zadina’s status as a healthy scratch:

21. Detroit Red Wings

Record: 16-15-3
Last Week: 23
Dom rank: 21
Sean rank: 22

Dom: Quinn Hughes was taken one pick after Filip Zadina. How much closer to the playoffs are the Red Wings if they make that pick instead? A top pair of Hughes and Moritz Seider would’ve dominated this league for a decade, it’s a real shame it never came to be and it’s a decision that may hinder this team’s full rebuild potential. Not getting the top pick means it’s a necessity to hit home runs on those top 10 choices and Zadina simply has not been that. He’s scoring 0.61 points-per-60 this year at five-on-five. To his credit, a lot of that seems to be bad luck, but it’s still discouraging to see for the 22-year-old. He should’ve taken a bigger step by now.

Sean: Yeah, that made me take a look at the 2018 draft — as in, check Pronman’s “re-draft” post from a couple of months back — and folks … it was not good. But yeah, it’s probably past time for people to start getting nervous about Zadina. Getting scratched is a bad break. Maybe Jeff Blashill should throw him on a line with Dylan Larkin and see what happens.

Continued (paywall); the Ken Holland regime wanted to draft Evan Bouchard if they didn’t pick Zadina, so they never even considered Hughes.