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3 questions with: Stanley Cup of Chowder

We ask how things are holding up in Boston in light of the manhunt and try to provide a happy distraction as to who the Bruins fans want to see their team play in the playoffs.

Justin K. Aller

The esteemed Cornelius Hardenbergh was kind enough to give us some of his time to chat about the Boston Bruins and what is going on as all the craziness of one of the scariest and violent weeks in recent American history unfolds in Boston.

1- In light of this week's events, how has the team held up? I've heard stories that many team members live in the immediate area of where the bombs were and the players have expressed gratitude for first responders, how else have things gone? Anything extra to share that maybe an outside fan of Boston wouldn't know?

The team has seemed to hold up, at least publicly. They didn't win on Wednesday, due to some iffy reffing from an AHL ref (who I don't blame - it's not his fault he worked such a big game) but they probably feel like the rest of us: A little shocked this is happening, but with immense pride for the city we all call home. I was basically crying through most of the pre-game stuff on wednesday and I'm sure they were too. We're going to stay inside and let this guy get caught. We're not going to just let this happen. We're fucking pissed and we're going to do what it takes. Even if that means staying home for a day or two.

2- Hockey seems trivial at moments like these, but how important do you think it is for Boston to win the Northeast and get the #2 seed. And is it more important for seeding and possible future rounds of home-ice advantage, or just simply to head into the playoffs on good winning ways (which winning the division would probably mean)? And, of all the likely current possibilities, what team do you think is the Bruins ideal first round matchup?

I think home ice is never a bad thing, but I'd take 4th or whatever. I want them to win as many games as possible and I'd rather they win than lose. But it looks increasingly like they may not play a full 48 and we're not sure how that will affect it. Hoping for the best. As for our ideal first-round matchup....I still remember wanting the Hurricanes in 2009 and that hitting us in the face like a Scott Walker sucker punch.

Our blog is doing a contest called #BostonHitsBack either tonight (if the game happens) or Tuesday where you are strongly suggested to give to the one boston fund (but we can't legally say you have to) and post five comments in the gamethread, you have a chance at a couple cool prizes. This whole thing is nuts.

3- I've thought Ottawa (injuries) and Toronto (coaching, regression) were going to fall apart, but both have held strong and will make the playoffs, along with Montreal from your division too. Could you rate those other three division teams in order of how you'd want to face them in hypothetical playoff matchups

Want to or think the Bruins would do best against? There isn't much like a Habs/Bruins playoff matchup. That's why they keep meeting. It only gets better. I think the Bruins would be better off facing Toronto or Ottawa but Reimer could definitely steal a game or two in the playoffs. Ottawa...I don't even know what to think about Ottawa. If they get Karlsson back, they're suddenly a lot scarier. Nice try Matt Cooke, you miserable wretch. So, order I'd rather play them: Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa. But not because I think it would be easier or whatever, I guess. I'm trying not to jinx things here.