Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Putting things in perspective

Last night I went to a friends house to watch the Nashville-Detroit game. I figured, with two of the top teams in the Western Conference facing off, it would be a night of entertaining and exciting hockey.

Instead, I witnessed one of the scariest moments I’ve ever seen in all my years of watching the sport.

Jiri Fischer almost died on the Red Wings bench after having suffered a seizure, and even though he’s now listed in stable condition, he’s still not out of the woods as far as his long term health as well as his future in hockey.

Watching it live, it was difficult to follow what was happening. Obviously, we knew something out of the ordinary had occurred, but the severity of it wasn’t clear until we saw the urgency in which Wings captain Steve Yzerman and Kris Draper rushed to get the stretcher to the bench. Then it was apparent this was very, very bad.

Now, some 12 hours later, having seen all the highlights, including the medical staff basically restarting his heart right there on the spot, I’m just thankful it didn’t end tragically.

After the incident I, and I’m sure many of you, saw this quote from Fischer in a few stories, talking about his irregular heart condition back in 2002:

"I wasn't scared about the abnormality," Fischer said. "But I was scared about not playing hockey again. That was a shock for me."

While, in hindsight, Fischer may look careless as far as his own well being, it’s just another example of how important playing this game is to these guys.

This game. Let’s not forget, though, that that’s all it is.

Last night made it pretty clear for me.

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