Sabres D Ruhwedel reflects on marathon bombings
In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, Sabres rookie
defenseman Chad Ruhwedel has one more reason to be thankful for
making the jump to the NHL.
Had Ruhwedel not elected to end his college career at UMass
Lowell to sign with Buffalo last weekend, he would have likely
spent Monday with his friends watching the marathon not far from
the finish line where two bombs exploded.
”It’s kind of hit me,” Ruhwedel said, after practice Tuesday.
”It’s hard to think about sometimes: `I could’ve been there.’
Fortunately, I wasn’t. And I’m really praying for everyone who
Ruhwedel said his friends were unhurt after being not far from
where three people were killed and more than 170 wounded.
And he’ll get an up-close reminder of what happened later
Tuesday, after the Sabres travelled to Boston, where they’ll play
the Bruins the following day.
The game will be the first professional sporting event to take
place in Boston since the bombings.
The Bruins’ home game against the Senators on Monday night was
postponed to April. 28. The NBA canceled the Celtics’ home game
Tuesday against Indiana. And the Red Sox have left town to open a
three-game series at Cleveland.
Ruhwedel’s thoughts of making a homecoming have suddenly become
”Oh, that’s not important to me. I just want to make sure
everybody’s OK down there,” said the 22-year-old, who’s played two
games with the Sabres. ”My homecoming is nothing compared to
Also placed on the backburner for now, was talk of the Sabres
continuing their late-season playoff push. Players and team
officials were instead expressing sorrow, sympathy and dismay in
the wake of the tragic events.
”Life’s way more important than hockey,” forward Nathan Gerbe
said. ”I think everyone in the world feels their pain. It’s
And Gerbe, who played at Boston College, acknowledged he’s ”a
little nervous” about traveling to Boston.
”You’re worried because they don’t know exactly why and how and
who,” Gerbe said. ”I don’t know if I’m going to go out walking in
the city or not. I’ll probably just stay in the hotel and
General manager Darcy Regier had no concerns, and expects a
heightened security presence in the city and at the arena.
”Obviously, it affects all of us, and it’s tragic and horrific.
But no, I don’t have reservations. You just move forward,” Regier
said. ”It’s going to be pretty difficult not to think about what
happened, obviously. But ultimately, we’re there to play a hockey
game and focus on winning a game.”
The Sabres (18-19-6) are coming off two wins that have kept them
in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt. With five games left,
Buffalo opened Tuesday in 10th place, four points behind the New
York Rangers, who hold the eighth and final playoff spot.
The Bruins (26-11-4) also have plenty to play for, sitting a
point behind Northeast Division-leading Montreal.
Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, who is from Buffalo, expressed his
sympathies to victims of the bombings in a statement released on
the team’s website.
”I have no doubt that the amazing people in Boston will
continue to display great strength and resiliency,” Jacobs said.
”We will be there to offer our support in any way that we can in
the wake of this tragedy.”
Sabres forward Steve Ott expects there to be a somber mood
inside the arena in Boston.
”Obviously, it’s going to be a little bit overwhelming to start
the game with heavy hearts,” Ott said. ”But we’re going to go out
there and try to play our hardest for the people, and at least try
to put some smiles on the faces for at least a couple of hours,