Everything you always wanted to know about the Kings, the Montreal Canadiens and the Stanley Cup:
History is on the side of the Kings. . . .
The last time the Canadiens played a West Coast team in the Stanley Cup finals, they lost. . . .
In case you don't recall, the Victoria Cougars defeated Montreal, 3-1, in a best-of-five game series in 1925. That was the next-to-last year that the West Coast Hockey League champions played the National Hockey League champions for the Cup. . . .
Jack Kent Cooke, the owner when the Kings joined the NHL as one of six expansion franchises in 1967, believed his little-known players needed nicknames to gain recognition in Los Angeles. Hence, Bill (Cowboy) Flett, Eddie (The Jet) Joyal, Real (Frenchy) Lemieux, Howie (Minnie) Menard, Bryan (Soupy) Campbell and Brian (Killer) Kilrea. Told to identify them that way on radio and television was announcer Ken (Jiggs) McDonald. . . .
Serge Savard of the Canadiens is the only person to have won Stanley Cups for the same franchise as a general manager and player. . . .
The Kings switched from purple-and-gold to silver-and-black uniforms before the 1988-89 season. That was supposed to be the big event of the year. But then they made a trade with the Edmonton Oilers for a center. . . .
Before the 1947-48 season, the NHL refused franchise applications from Los Angeles and Philadelphia. . . .
The Kings' first game was a 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 14, 1967, before 7,023 fans at the Long Beach Arena. . . .
The Triple Crown Line of, left to right, Charlie Simmer, Marcel Dionne and Dave Taylor remains the highest scoring in Kings' history with 146 goals in 1979-80. . . .
King Coach Barry Melrose credits Canadiens Coach Jacques Demers for showing him how to communicate with the media. . . .
The Forum in Montreal is one of the few hockey arenas where team benches are located on opposite sides of the rink. It seats 16,197 fans, but can handle an additional 1,712 with standing room. . . .
Fans at the Forum in Inglewood will be more noisy. Those in Montreal usually are more sophisticated, but they rioted March 17, 1955, when Clarence Campbell suspended Maurice (Rocket) Richard for the remainder of the season and the playoffs after he struck a linesman at Boston Garden. . . .
Not since World War II have the Canadiens waited longer for a Stanley Cup championship. They broke a seven-year drought in 1986. . . .
The longest NHL game ever was played at the Montreal Forum on March 24, 1936. Mud Bruneteau scored after 116 minutes and 30 seconds of overtime to give the Detroit Red Wings a 1-0 victory over the Montreal Maroons in the Stanley Cup semifinals. . . .
For his performance during the 1986 playoffs, Montreal goaltender Patrick Roy, then 21, became the youngest player ever to win the Conn Smythe trophy. . . .
Roy, the leading goalie, and Wayne Gretzky, the leading scorer, are the two top Smythe candidates this time. Gretzky won the award in 1985 and 1988. He has been the leading scorer in the playoffs five times. . . .
The Kings, Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins are the only NHL teams that don't have more than one assistant coach. Melrose's assistant, Cap Raeder, is a former goaltender, but his work is praised by players at all positions. . . .
Occasionally, penalty shots are called in playoff games. There have been 27. The most recent of the 10 successful ones was taken by Jaromir Jagr of the Pittsburgh Penguins against John Vanbiesbrouck of the New York Rangers last year. . . .
The large C and the smaller H on the Canadien uniforms signify Club de Hockey Canadien. . . .
On March 13, 1945, Rocket Richard became the first NHL player to score 50 goals in 50 games. . . .
In 1979, the Kings traded their first-round draft choice to Boston for goaltender Ron Grahame. Grahame played 26 games for the Kings. With the pick, the eighth overall, the Bruins selected Ray Bourque. . . . The Kings have made a lot of other lousy deals, but one of their best brought Rogie Vachon to Los Angeles from the Canadiens in 197l for Dale Hoganson, Denis DeJordy, Noel Price and Doug Robinson. . . .
The Canadiens' 23 Stanley Cups are the most championships won by a major league team in North America. Ten came during 1943-67 when the NHL was a six-team league and the champion needed to win only two series. . . .
Two of Montreal's most popular off-ice personalties, former radio announcer Danny Galivan and public address announcer-public relations director Claude Mouton, died during the season. . . .
Canadien captain Guy Carbonneau on playing in Montreal: "Because of the success this team had in the past, there is hope every year. People are very demanding, but the pressure makes us better players.". . . .
Melrose on coaching in Los Angeles: "I love L.A. That's been the biggest surprise about my job. I want to live here the rest of my life.". . . .