When Jason Williams collapsed to the ice after a hit by Edmonton's Raffi Torres on Wednesday, two thoughts ran through my mind:
1) Jiri Fischer.
2) This is nothing like Jiri Fischer.
I think that since Fischer's collapse on the bench last November, every time a player goes down there is a feeling of immediate dread. The first thought is the worst, that something horrible has happened. That's thought number one.
Thought number two is that it's not likely that we will ever see something like what happened to Jiri Fischer again. There aren't many stories like it in the NHL's almost 90-year history. Bill Masterton (obvoiusly, the worst), Clint Malarchuk, Trent McCleary.
Every time something like what happened to those players happens, the fear that it will happen again is renewed, and so Fischer jumped immediately to mind with Williams lying on the ice.
Williams suffered "only" a concussion. He's expected to return quickly. This time, we can be thankful that this is nothing like Jiri Fischer.