BOSTON -- Moments after Monday's explosions near the Boston Marathon finish line only a few miles away, news of the tragedy spread quickly around TD Garden as the Boston Bruins were preparing to host the Ottawa Senators.
At that time of the afternoon, the rink usually is quiet, as players are back home or at the visitors hotel, taking their normal afternoon naps. Building personnel and media gathered in the media room on the third floor and watched the local telecasts of the events happening minutes away from the Garden.
An hour later, around 4 p.m. ET, players from both teams began arriving. Bruins players, including veteran Shawn Thornton, were concerned for friends, family and fans who had attended the marathon. Players from both teams began their normal pregame routines because they did not know whether the game would be played.
A few minutes before 5 p.m., general manager Peter Chiarelli emerged from the Bruins’ locker room and walked down the hall toward the visitors locker room, telling the opposition the game had been postponed.
Bruins players, some still dressed in their suits, began to leave the Garden. The Senators quickly packed their equipment and headed to the team bus.
Moments of silence were observed before the Flyers-Canadiens game in Montreal and the Stars-Blackhawks game in Chicago.
The Bruins game has not been rescheduled, and due to limited building availability, it’s going to be difficult to find a date that works for both teams. Even with the condensed, lockout-shortened schedule, teams are not allowed to play three nights in a row.
Bruins president Cam Neely released a statement shortly after the game was postponed, saying that after consulting with city, state and NHL officials, the decision was made to postpone the game.
“Public safety personnel from the city and state still are gathering information regarding today’s events and it is vital they have all resources available for their investigation. The thoughts and prayers of everyone in the Bruins organization are with the city of Boston and all those affected by today’s tragedy,” the statement said.
The NHL also released a statement: “The National Hockey League wishes to express its sympathy to all affected by the tragic events that took place in Boston earlier this afternoon.”