A hockey game wasn’t the easiest way to end a sombre Monday Cory Schneider spent texting, emailing and scouring facebook to ensure friends and family were safe after the horrific explosions in Boston.

Schneider sat on the bench in Nashville, a night he understandably struggled to stay focused after the tragic events in his hometown from just hours earlier.

“It was tough not playing to not think about it,” Schneider said. “You read about it elsewhere in the world, or elsewhere in the country and you never think it’s going to happen in your hometown.

“Fortunately all of our friends and immediate family were fine. But this is going to impact the city for a long time.”

Schneider had great memories of Patriots Day. He’d go the Red Sox game in the morning, then be among the thousands lining the streets for the Boston Marathon after it. When he was at Boston College, the marathon route went right by the school. He’d sometimes be a smart ass and hand out beers to the runners, a harmless prank.

The day was always about fun, celebration and sporting achievement. In Boston, it’s long been the unofficial start of spring. It will never be the same after the stark, sad reality of Monday’s bombings sunk in.

“I was actually on the phone with my fiance when I read about it online,” Schneider said. “It was instantly surreal. We’re both from there and have a lot of people who live in and around the city.

“I was feeling panic and chaos there for a bit. It was almost like it wasn’t real.”

Schneider will start for the Canucks tonight against the St. Louis Blues. He said today it’s a little easier mentally to focus.

“But it puts it in perspective that the game is just a game when those other things are much more pressing.

“It’s going to be a while before things feel normal again.”

Like most of us, Schneider followed the updates all day, leading up to the game in Nashville. He was heartened by the response in Boston.

“It’s a tough city,” Schneider said. “People stick together and they’re resilient. They don’t get knocked down for long.