Ottawa Senators leave Boston with heavy hearts

Following a long day spent near the scene of the Boston Marathon tragedy, the Ottawa Senators were scheduled to fly home following the postponement of Monday’s scheduled game against the Boston Bruins.

Following a long day spent near the scene of the tragedy, the Ottawa Senators were scheduled to fly home following the postponement of Monday’s scheduled game against the Boston Bruins.

The Senators play Tuesday at Scotiabank Place against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Senators general manager Bryan Murray issued a statement Monday evening, saying that “our entire team is safe and together,” while waiting official word that club would receive clearance to leave Boston.

Security was on high alert, limiting air travel.

At some point in the next few days, the NHL will need to figure out a time to have the game played before the end of the regular season April 27; a tricky scenario given there are few apparent open spots due to the condensed schedule in the final two weeks of the season and the fact the TD Garden is also home to the NBA’s Boston Celtics and to a busy concert schedule. It’s possible the game could be moved away from the TD Garden.

On Monday, however, Murray and Senators players were more concerned about the fate of the runners and spectators killed and injured in the bomb attacks near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

“The thoughts and prayers of the entire Ottawa Senators organization are with those people affected by today’s tragic events in Boston,” Murray’s statement said. “We fully support the National Hockey League’s decision to postpone (Monday’s) game.”

The Senators’ hotel in Boston was only five minutes from where the explosions occurred. While Senators players weren’t available to the media, they let their feelings be known via Twitter.

“It doesn’t get much worse than waking up from a pre-game nap to hear that two bombs went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon,” wrote new winger Cory Conacher.

Winger Erik Condra wrote, “I’m sickened by the acts at the Boston Marathon.”

Defenceman Eric Gryba, who attended Boston University for four years, said “my thoughts and prayers go out to all hurt in this cowardly act of violence.”

Matt Kassian tweeted “I long for a day when this doesn’t happen.”

Around the NHL, other players joined in adding their prayers and thoughts towards those who were hurt from the bombs.

It was a bittersweet day for Ben Bishop, the former Ottawa Senators goaltender who signed a two-year contract extension with Tampa Bay, hours before the bombs went off. “I’m excited to be a member of the Tampa organization for two more years, but my thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Boston and with their families.”

The Senators took part in the normal routine of a morning skate, before going back to their hotel to rest up for Monday’s game. They returned to the arena after 5 p.m., to prepare for the game. However, the NHL cancelled the game and every one inside the building was ordered to get out by 6:30 p.m.

“After consultation with city, state and NHL officials we collectively made the decision to postpone tonight’s game,” Bruins president Cam Neely said in a statement. “Public safety personnel from the city and state are still gathering information regarding (Monday’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.”

When the NHL, the Bruins and the Senators get around to trying to re-schedule the game, they will find the task extremely difficult.

Both teams already have jam-packed schedules before the end of the regular season April 27.

kwarren@ottawacitizen.com
Twitter.com/Citizenkwarren

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