Washington Capitals players reacted to Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon following Tuesday’s morning skate. The Caps have two Massachusetts natives on the roster, defensemen John Carlson and Tom Poti.
“It’s terrible,” said Carlson, who was born in Natick, about 30 minutes outside Boston. “I think people try to put a damper on positive things and in Boston, that’s a holiday for them, first off. People come from all over the world to run in the race. People died and people got injured. It really [stinks]. My cousins have been down there, my cousin ran in it, my aunt and uncle went to go see him and stood right there, I think it was last year. It [stinks] to think about.”
Through a team spokesman, Poti declined comment about the bombings, which killed three people and wounded more than 170. He makes his offseason home on Cape Cod.
Coach Adam Oates played parts of six seasons with the Bruins.
“Great people there, great town, I loved it there, I have my home there,” Oates said. “Great to see everybody come to the aid of everybody there. Very sad day.”
Oates said his reaction to the tragedy was the same as most.
“Obviously a very, very tragic thing and our hearts go out to everybody in that situation as we would hope would be reciprocated the other way,” he said. “When it happens, very rarely it’s happened in our country. It makes you take a step back and realize that and how scary it is.”
Verizon Center will feature heightened security beginning with Tuesday night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Team and arena officials released a statement saying that security will be “enhanced” for upcoming events.
“We regularly consult with the Metropolitan Police Department, FBI, Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Department of Homeland Security, and our standard policy of bag searches and security wanding will continue at the entrances,” the statement read. “We also will institute measures that will be readily visible to the public as well as some that are not, but all will add to the safety and security of our patrons. The safety of our fans and guests always has been and will continue to be our top priority.”
The NHL postponed Monday night’s game between the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators and did not immediately announce a make-up date.
It was understandable, for many reasons, that the game was not played.
“We all have friends that play there,” Caps forward Matt Hendricks said. “Just a terrible feeling, a feeling of ‘This is happening.’ This is happening too much, too often. It’s very disappointing and there’s a lot of emotions that go with it. But to put into words how someone feels. It’s difficult.”
Captain Alex Ovechkin did not know anyone who was in Boston on Monday. But the events there still left him in shock.
“[I don’t know] what we have to say and how we have to react to it,” Ovechkin said. “People are dying and people are hurt. It’s bad.”
Carlson moved to New Jersey as a child but still has family in the Boston area.
“Obviously I’m glad that everyone that I know is safe, but a bunch of my friends live in Boston and you can’t reach out to them because there’s no cell service and stuff like that,” Carlson said. “It hits home. It should hit home for everyone, really. It doesn’t take being from there to mean anything. Maybe it means a little bit more, but it’s a tragedy.”