TORONTO — A Stanley Cup final between the Kings and Montreal Canadiens might inspire mixed emotions in Larry Robinson, who played for both teams.
Robinson twice won the Norris Trophy as the NHL's best defenseman while with Montreal and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the Canadiens' 1978 Stanley Cup victory. But he ended his 20-year career with the Kings, retiring after last season.
For Robinson, the rooting choice is clear.
"I hope L.A. does it," he said in the tumult of the Kings' locker room after their seventh-game victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday gave them the Campbell Conference championship. "I played with these guys not long ago. There's only three, four guys with Montreal that I played with.
"I'm happy for both teams, but my heart is with these guys."
The Kings will need all of Robinson's backing--and more--if they are to beat the Canadiens.
"They're playing awfully well," said Robinson, who has watched most of Montreal's playoff games. "Plus, they have going for them the fact that they're well rested and healthy, and (goaltender Patrick) Roy is at the top of his game right now. But Kelly (Hrudey) is playing at the top of his game, as well.