BOSTON – Hollywood stars usually pull up to a big movie premiere in a limo, or at least in a Lincoln Town Car.
Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference and teammate Brad Marchand made their way to the Boston Common AMC Theatre Monday night via pedicab. Only they made their way to the VIP premier of the NHL Stanley Cup Champions 2011: Boston Bruins DVD with an unusual passenger that’s been making the rounds in the Hub and beyond lately: the Stanley Cup.
"I don’t think anyone recognized us," said Ference prior to the movie showing. "They were probably wondering what we were doing with the Cup."
The Cup took in the DVD along with Ference, Marchand, Bruins forward Shawn Thornton, team president Cam Neely and a theater-full of lucky Bruins fans. After the showing, fans were invited to stick around and have their picture taken with the greatest trophy in sports.
Prior to the showing, Marchand said he couldn’t wait until he could watch the final seconds of Boston’s Game 7 Cup-clinching win against Vancouver again for all the excitement. A little more than an hour later, he got his wish, as he buried an empty-net goal -- sparking another rousing round of applause from the Bruins’ faithful in attendance -- and then the cameras caught the Bruins jumping over the boards and onto the ice for the celebration that was 39 years in the making.
Ference recalled in the DVD that after Marchand’s goal, a bunch of guys got up to celebrate but then sat down like they were ready for the next shift. They were so focused on the task at hand, it didn’t sink in that the game and the Cup was theirs.
The DVD set the stage for the Bruins’ championship by rehashing some of Boston’s playoff failures and then recapping the hiring of General Manager Peter Chiarelli, head coach Claude Julien and Neely. The starting point for the 2010-11 championship season is drawn at last June’s trade for Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell, which fortified a Bruins front line that had left the team last in the League in scoring in 2009-10.
Some of the highlights of the regular season then lead up to the dramatic postseason run – including three Game 7 victories and four wins in elimination games.
"There were some things that happened during the season that weren’t positive too, but it came into building us as a team and making us stronger," said Thornton.
Throughout the DVD, which is now on sale, there are cuts from the action to behind-the-scenes footage and after-the-fact interviews, during which players like Ference, Thornton and goaltender Tim Thomas explain what they were thinking at certain points and during certain plays.
One never-before-seen highlight comes during the Final, when Ference is wearing a microphone and you can hear him exchanging words with the Canucks players.
To some of the Bruins, the reality of being Cup champions is still a foreign experience. The DVD release was another step in that realization process. Ference, who has spent a lot of time with the Cup around Boston, says that having lost a Game 7 of a Stanley Cup Final in 2004 with Calgary has helped him cherish this season’s win even more.
"It’s easy to say now, but I’m glad that I’m older when I won it," he said. "I’ve been through the bad times when you feel awful after the season’s done because you lost out. I had a good perspective on it from just having been there and lost. Through all of the celebrations and some of the crazy parties, I just kind of sat back and watched and took it all in and really enjoyed it. I had so many years of planning what I would do."
Neely, through his numerous appearances on television and in movies, and with so many friends in the acting profession, has been to numerous red-carpet premiers.
But, as he pointed out, this one had one major difference.
"The Stanley Cup wasn’t at it."
Well, it took 39 years but the Stanley Cup now resides in Boston. And there’s now a DVD to commemorate its capture.