"What do you do? You feel helpless,'' said defenseman Andrew Ference. "It's an empty feeling. You're proud that so many people are helping out and you start to hear back from people that you know, they're OK, so you're happy.
"Obviously, you know there are a lot of people who are getting different news and you feel pretty heartbroken for them.''
None of the players or coaches were surprised that Monday's game against Ottawa was postponed. On Tuesday, the Bruins announced that the game has been rescheduled for Sunday, April 28, at 7 p.m.
The decision to postpone was seen by all as proper, a no-brainer.
When the Bruins do get back to work -- they will play as scheduled Wednesday night at TD Garden against Buffalo -- they will do their best to lift the city, for at least a little while, from its collective mourning.
"Especially in this town, sports are obviously woven into the fabric of this city,'' said Ference. "The fact that it's at the Marathon and affected so many people in a personal way, it's not just about it happening in our city. It happened to people we know, it happened to places that we go.
"You support any way you can and try to represent the city as best you can and help in whatever way you can. It's a bit of a helpless feeling right now. I know it was a pretty heavy room today with a lot of guys just feeling awful.
"In some sense, you feel a bit helpless as far as what you can do after the fact as far as action. We'll do our job and make sure we're there when people need us and think of anything possible we can do to help.''
In one piece of hockey business, the Bruins announced that Jordan Caron had been assigned to Providence.