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Babcock wouldn't let terror affect his hockey routine

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

Phoenix defenseman Keith Yandle paid tribute to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings with an inscription on his left skate on Monday night. (Photo by Getty Images)

DETROIT – As details emerged about the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and wounded scores of others, coach Mike Babcock was sickened by what he saw in images on TV and the Internet.

“It’s hard to believe that this could be caused by human beings because you wouldn’t think no human would be involved in something like this,” the Red Wings coach said. “The reality of the situation is, the great part about living in the free part of the world is that it’s free so people do things that sometimes you would rather not happen.”

Like everyone who works in the athletic world terrorist attacks isn’t far from Babcock’s mind as high-profile sporting events have long been discussed as tantalizing targets for foreign and domestic terrorists who wish to achieve a particular political aim.

While Monday’s twin blasts produced the worst terrorist attack on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001, Babcock said he feels safe at work in NHL venues.

“NHL security does what they can,” Babcock said. “Things can go wrong. It’s part of living in the free part of the world. There are going to be things that go wrong, but in saying all that, you can’t let people get in the way of what you love to do.”

On Tuesday, security was also tightened at sports venues across the U.S., though most events were held as planned. The exceptions were in Boston, where Monday’s NHL game between the Bruins and Ottawa Senators was postponed, and Tuesday's NBA game between the Celtics and Indiana Pacers was cancelled.

The Red Wings will be in Vancouver later this week to play the Canucks on Saturday night at Rogers Arena where security will undoubtedly be on heightened alert as the city prepares to host 48,000 runners Sunday morning in the second largest 10K race in the world.

“I remember when my wife ran her first marathon,” Babcock said. “The jubilation at the end there in L.A. was unbelievable. You’re there for a family event and then you hear an eight-year old boy lost his life.

“Our thoughts and our prayers go out to those families that were involved. It’s a sickening, sickening thing. In saying that I assume they’re really going to heighten security right now. You’d like to think things like this would never happen again, but you and I know that won’t be the case. It’s sad.”.

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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