Posted by: emmaharger | July 30, 2011

Bruins Stanley Cup 2011 Champions Review and Screencap Festival

It may as well go without saying that I highly recommend any Bruins fan, old or new, should add this to their collection. It is a very, very good DVD loaded with all sorts of goodies and insight into how the Bs gave Lord Stanley his new address. If you are looking for some sort of collection of full-length games, however, this is not that. I don’t know if they really do that, except for special DVDs (an insert advertised some DVDs including the 10 best New York Islanders games, much to Vicky’s pleasure I’m sure), but this is not one of those. It is, however, great fun to watch and will inevitably put a smile on your face.

The main show begins with a little discussion of Back in The Day ™ when the Bruins were one of the worst teams in the league and what they did to start changing that over time: you know, new coaches, new players, the big Joe Thornton trade, etc. It then goes on to the start of the 2010-11 season in Prague:

Street swag.

The guys pose for a group photo, all attired in great-looking suits.

Spot the Chara!

There is also some discussion of the regular season: the prominence and usefulness of Milan Lucic, the Marc Savard situation, Tim Thomas getting back on point after his hip problems last year, the February trades (you’re welcome for Rich Peverley!) and the big Boston/Montreal game in February.

Yes, even the goalie fight.

In these segments, the most commonly-interviewed players include Thomas, Lucic, Mark Recchi, Patrice Bergeron and Michael Ryder (who is no longer with Boston). Claude Julien also adds some insight, as well as members of the Boston media. But this lasts only about 10 minutes of a main show that’s a little over an hour long, so the focus here is clearly on the playoffs.

First up, the Boston/Montreal series. After losing the first two games of the series at home, which made these two Bruins fans very sad…

Nice yard-length drink there, though.

…the Bruins won game 3 in Montreal and then a little bonding trip to Lake Placid was suggested. The idea was to go to a place requiring a bus ride so the guys could bond. Lake Placid of course has quite a lot of significance with regards to American hockey, being the home of the 1980 Miracle on Ice. In this segment, I learned that Tim Thomas grew up idolizing Jim Craig, the goaltender for that team and game.

Pardon the slight blurriness of this screencap, but look at how happy he looks!

Also, Lake Placid is really pretty:

Also, while on the trip, Thomas is interviewed by a very, very eager-looking reporter:

Perhaps that little trip helped recharge the team’s batteries because after that, they performed very well in the rest of the series, only losing game 6. There is of course discussion of the things that made this series unique: Michael Ryder’s glove save, Chris Kelly rocking the cage-face after slamming into a goalpost in game 3, the game 5 sliding save that arguably may have saved (pardon the pun) the series for Boston and Nathan Horton’s overtime goals. The DVD also provides some lovely archival footage of past Boston/Montreal series to help explain the old-time animosity between the teams.

The Boston/Philadelphia segment begins with some flashbacks to the previous year, when Philadelphia knocked Boston out of the big show, so the overreaching theme of this part is exorcising last year’s demons. Another big theme is the way David Krejci contributed after being injured last year: he scored at least once in each of the four games except the last one.

Leave it to Krejci.

Since this particular series was only four games, this segment is of course rather short and moves swiftly on to Boston/Tampa Bay. Many of the commentators in this segment give Tampa Bay praise: recognizing its talent (Tim Thomas admits to being somewhat intimidated by the idea of taking on Dwayne Roloson) and also noting that it had no natural enmity with Boston, so the players kind of had to create some. There is a problem, too, that carried over from the Philly series: Patrice Bergeron suffered a concussion and his presence was missed on the lineup. So, what’s a team to do?

Bring in the kid.

Perhaps an appropriate choice, considering Tyler Seguin was on the record saying he wanted to model his playing style after Bergeron’s. This choice paid off immediately, too: a goal and an assist in game 1, two more goals and two more assists in game 2. Of course, they were up against a very talented team. After securing a series lead of 2-1, Boston went down south and quite nearly fell into what one commentator describes as “pre-2004 Red Sox hell,” flubbing a 3-0 lead in the game and eventually losing 5-3. There was palpable worry for the rest of the series. Game 7 receives a lot of focus here because it was so unusual: the high caliber of skill on both sides led many to believe the first person to score would be on the winning team, the game was scoreless for two periods, there were absolutely no penalties called and indeed the first person to score–Nathan Horton–was on the winning team. What was Tim Thomas’ greatest fear during this hair-raising elimination game? Not that he would let in a goal, but that Dwayne Roloson wouldn’t. Wow.

Note that in this segment, Seguin joins the roundtable of talking heads to provide more insight and commentary.

In the end, the Bruins nabbed the Prince of Wales trophy, which they did not touch, and now it was off to Vancouver for their first finals appearance since 1990, when I was a wee babe.

Vancouver: it's real photogenic.

Bob Ryan from the Boston Globe made such a funny suggestion on here that I literally noted it specifically. Knowing that Boston’s anemic power play hadn’t been too good at producing goals, he suggested that the team be allowed to refuse a penalty, triggering a $500 charitable donation from the other team to a charity of the Bruins’ choice and keeping both teams playing at full strength. It’ll never happen, but that idea takes chutzpah, so I gotta give it to him for that. Game 1 ended in a narrowly-won Canucks victory (and yes, there was discussion of how it was at times a fight-fest and they show the footage of Alex Burrows chomping on Patrice Bergeron’s finger), so the focus for game 2 was trying to “solve” Roberto Luongo. Although the Bruins didn’t win game 2, they solved him twice, setting the stage for game 3 at home.

Hello, TD Garden. October 22!

They DO show the terrible hit Aaron Rome put on Nathan Horton. It is just as horrifying to watch now, even knowing he’s getting better, as it was that night when we all had no idea what would happen. I refused to do any screencapping of that part. However, watching the Bruins “do it for Horty” in game 3 is still as refreshing to watch now! They talk about the vintage Bruins jacket awarded to each game’s MVP–but not about its origins (Andrew Ference bought it on eBay)–and how Horton was there to pass it off after game 4.

Check out the Easy button sign seen behind Roberto Luongo as he's pulled in game 4.

Alas, the “tire pumping” incident. I speak now not only as a Bruins fan but as a practitioner of the media arts. From that perspective, the whole “tire pumping” thing was a ridiculous, desperate attempt for Luongo to capture media attention and run with it. Luongo, it is not Thomas’ job to praise you enough (he complained of not hearing Thomas say any nice things about him, which is a bit like a petulant teenager swearing to never post blog posts/Facebook statuses/fanfic again until enough people leave positive comments). That’s better left to your coach and teammates. Don’t try to paint yourself as a victim here. Your regular season was good enough to put you in Vezina contention; really want to sully that with this childish “why won’t he say nice things about me?” game?

Should tire pumps become part of a goalie's standard game gear? Nah.

Andrew Ference talks about how it feels to lose the cup in a game 6, having been on the Calgary Flames’ squad in 2004 when it lost to Tampa Bay. Mark Recchi also takes time to remember his own Cup memories, since before 2011 he had two rings, from Carolina 2006 and Pittsburgh 1991, when he looked rather like a young Bruce Campbell to me:

Thankfully for Ference, history didn’t repeat itself and the Bs won game 6, necessitating a game 7. Cue probably the most dramatic, charged part of the DVD. Even knowing how it ends, I still felt excited, anxious and then elated. My one qualm is that they have a weird habit of zooming in really far on scoreboards reflecting usually a good score for the Bruins while the narrator narrates. This is only present during the Boston/Vancouver segment. It’s one small qualm, of course, but still a little odd.

But of course they talk about this!

By the end of the main DVD, with all the guys celebrating and talking about how immense it is to hold Lord Stanley, I had a huge smile on my face that I didn’t notice for a while. It’s just such a joyful experience to relive. Also, Bobby Orr reveals that he is jealous of the duck boat parade because he didn’t have that when he won.

Yes, we do get to hear Chara's animalistic cheer when he first raises the Cup.

The bonus features are high-caliber too. Let’s take a look at the extended locker room footage. I remember watching this over and over late into the night on NHL Network and waiting for them to miss an f-bomb or two. (Which they did–during the Cup passoffs on the rink. I think it was Seidenberg who dropped the bomb.) You see the guys come into the locker room, all full of booze and ready for them, and then Ference tells Chara they need to go back out and take more photos. He’s just like “oh brother.” Ference is like “I’LL CARRY THE CUP!” So then they come back and bottles are poppin’. Chara and Recchi bro hug. There are adorable children. Cigars are puffed while Bottoms Up plays. (I associate that song with Patrick Kane.) Johnny Boychuk claims: I’M NOT A CHAMPAGNE DRINKER! Well, I’m not either, but you are now, Boychuk! Naoko Funayama gets SOAKED in beer by Chara, who then hugs her and kisses her cheek while she congratulates him.

Hazard of the trade. We all learn how to deal with 6'9" Slovaks giving us beer showers when we're in j-school. (Uh not really.)

There’s a tender moment with Tyler Seguin and Gregory Campbell before Seguin, a cigar stuck under his hat, looks to the camera and bellows “THAT’S HOW WE DO! THAT’S HOW WE DO!” Recchi and Bergeron bro hug after Recchi says he’s retiring. Awwww! At the end, Ference kisses the camera. Because why not?

There’s also some footage from the duck boat parade. It’s not as long as I would like,  but still sweet. There are lots of huge crowd shots, showing that this was the biggest event of its kind in Boston’s history. Mark Recchi pumps up the crowd, Claude Julien pumps them up too, Patrice Bergeron talks but doesn’t do his WE GOT DA CUP routine and Tim Thomas shouts out to ALL Boston fans, not just the ones who are at the parade. Tuukka Rask is shown still wearing Nathan Horton’s helmet.

In fact, he is also interviewed while on his duck boat. Don't know why the kid in the background is so surly, though.

Ference can’t believe the crowd. Then he starts getting them to chant LET’S GO BRUINS. Duck boats are awesome and I want to be on one in October.

Chara sees a cutout of his own head in the crowd and acknowledges it!

Ference kisses the cup, Nathan Horton has an adorable family and Chara has huge arms. A good time was had by all!

There’s a cool Behind the Scenes with the Stanley Cup too. We see the Cup keeper tending to Stanley and Conn Smythe in a plush but not too plus hotel room in Vancouver.

Hey MTV, welcome to my crib.

We see Boston’s twin inscriptions and Vancouver‘s…as the Millionaires, in 1915, when they defeated Seattle. They also inscribed their names inside the cup. Then the cupkeeper must drive Stanley and Conn to the arena with about as much police presence as if President Obama came to town. It’s two hours before the game and he’s amazed at how many people are out to look at the procession. “Doesn’t anyone do any work in this town?” he asks. Tell ’em! Then Stanley gets another buff before going to be presented–after a brief “recap” of the game–and you get to hear everyone roundly booing Gary Bettman as he presents the Cup. (At home in Atlanta I of course booed him until my throat hurt.) Then it’s Chara’s animalistic cheer again. I will never get tired of hearing that.

There’s another special feature and it’s brilliant: a collection of top 10 plays, saves, hits and goals from the regular season and then apparently from each round of the playoffs. I tried to take notes on them, but they moved so fast that I could only note the two teams, not even the dates or who did what or whatever, most of the time. It’s also 30 minutes long in total. Half an hour of glorious hockey highlights. It’s like a bunch of sprinkles on top of an awesome cupcake.

I just wish we’d have one of the special features the 2010 Blackhawks DVD has: footage from the draft. That DVD has Kane’s footage and Toews’ footage, whereas for the Bruins I’d just want Seguin’s, but whatever, I can get that on Youtube. All in all, this DVD should definitely be part of any Bruins fan’s collection.

This is available from many locations. It’s on Amazon (DVD, Blu-Ray) and Best Buy, where I got it (DVD, Blu-Ray) but your mileage may vary. It’s worth it!

-Emma


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