BostonBruins.com -- Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said his day with the Cup brought the reality of what the B's accomplished a little bit closer.
"I’m going to say, brings you a step closer," said Julien. "It's still fresh in my mind that last game.
"Again, it’s a little bit surreal, there’s been so much stuff going on in between about the Cup and the preparations. I still don’t think it’s totally sunk in yet.
"You realize what you’ve accomplished. But I think that a lot of it will probably happen once we see the banner going up before the season starts and...[you] get your ring -- It kind of caps it off -- and that’s probably where it’s going to sink in.
"But certainly, for me, it was another eye-opener to see how many people, even in the Ottawa area, are die-hard Bruins fans," added Julien. "People that were out there again in a real warm day and had their jersey’s on and waited in line for hours just to get their picture taken with the Cup.
"So it’s pretty neat and a lot of fun and as I mentioned it was a very busy day."
Busy is an understatement.
"We just started off the morning and took the cup across the street to the Rideau Canal," said Julien. "We wanted to get a little family picture with [daughter] Katryna and [wife] Karen and myself with us by the Canal, and with the Parliament building in the background.
"It was pretty neat because the first time that Cup was won by the Ottawa Senators one of the players ended up throwing it into the canal.
"From what I hear the coach ended up having to fish it out," said Julien with a chuckle. "That’s probably something pretty unique, but that’s something that happened there, so I was right next to the canal where that happened."
Then it was family time.
"We ended up going to a hall, which my mother and father-in-law had reserved for their family and friends. And people that are close to them.
"So we just signed autographs and took pictures and had a good morning there."
From there, Julien and family went to his parent's house and a big surprise.
"After we won the Cup a few days later my brother and father who own a business decided that they were going to put that picture up on the garage door," said Julien of the more than life size photo of the coach holding Lord Stanley's chalice. "So I was quite shocked to say the least.
"But they got it there and we ended up hosting our side of the family and friends in the afternoon."
However, like most Bruins who've gotten some time with the Cup, Coach didn't realize just how many friends he had.
"There ended up being, obviously, a lot more people that showed up than we had expected," said Julien with another laugh. "So it was quite an afternoon to say the least.
"But you know we had a chance to out everyone thorough the line and get some pictures with the cup and all. And it turned out to be a really, really good afternoon.
"And then we just finished off the night with a private party and our close friends...in a private room and just enjoyed the rest of the evening with the Cup in our presence."
Julien admitted that preparing to celebrate with the Cup didn't come to him as easily as his daily work in the effort to win the Cup. After all, the players and coaches in the NHL live to compete, not celebrate.
"It’s true," he said. "The first thing I said to [B's GM] Peter [Chiarelli] after we’d won is how I wanted to make sure that I was going to prepare the team properly for the next year and do what needed to be done in the summertime as well to make sure that our message is clear to our players and to all of us.
"So my head was already thinking that just two or three days after we won."
That said, there are moments during a Cup celebration which can't be produced otherwise. For instance, friends and family get to have their own personal moments with Lord Stanley, too.
In Julien's case, the most memorable might have been his daughter's time with the Cup and was caught by NHL.com's camera
"Believe it or not we didn’t say a word to her about anything and what came out of her mouth about touching it and about the winning it," said Julien. "As we say, truth comes out of kid’s mouths, and that was her expressing her own feelings without us having even said anything to her.
"So I was impressed with her comments and her reply to those questions to be honest with you."
And Julien's having the Cup at home, brought the whole experience home for everyone.
"After everyone was done at my parents place, we took it in the house and put it in the kitchen and even my mom, my dad, and even a lot of my relatives said, 'Did you ever think you’d see the Stanley Cup sitting on your kitchen counter?'" said Julien. "And you know those kind of things really made it special you know when people take time to think how special that Cup is, and then where it's been and where it ended up.
"So no doubt, that part of the day and being able to share it with my family, for me, that was what it was all about."