“Unfortunately, it’s not really the first shoot. If you have kids and it’s happening close to home, it’s definitely different,” McDonagh said. “Like all parents, you do everything you can to help your family and your children.”
McDonagh’s daughters – Falan, Murphy and Nola – are all under the age of 9.
“His daughter was standing near the school – her school was on lockdown,” coach John Hynes said.
Said McDonagh, “Honestly, there really aren’t any words to say after what happened yesterday in Nashville.”
“Just a tragedy for these families and everyone involved. You don’t really realize it until you have kids of your own and perspective. It hits you,” he said.
McDonagh said it wasn’t just another game as the Predators defeated the NHL-leading Bruins.
“We felt like we had to go out there and do our job the best we can and sacrifice and leave it all out there and just try and maybe bring a little bit of inspiration to the city of Nashville,” McDonagh said.
Hynes spoke to his team about the situation.
“We talked to our guys about the fact that we’re on one platform here as professional athletes and coaches,” he said. “The city of Nashville means a lot to these people. We wanted to stand up for the first responders, for the people involved in the incident – the families, the school. We’re just really proud of the boys.”
The Predators and Bruins wore helmet stickers to show their support for Covenant School, where three 9-year-old students and three adult staff were killed.
The Bruins also observed a minute’s silence before the national anthem.
“The Bruins stand with the Nashville Predators in solidarity against gun violence and their support of the Nashville community,” the PA spokesman said.
Nashville is trying to race for eighth and final playoff spot, winning for the third time in eight games.
Hynes spoke to his team about the few hours of relief his team was able to bring to people at home.
“We talked about it with our boys,” he said. “Sometimes when things are tough in life – part of the sport, it’s for the players and people involved in it, but I think for the fans it’s an opportunity to take a few hours and maybe of a few things come away in you life. That was the message we put into the game.” ___
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