No NHL franchise had moved since the Ottawa Senators became the St. Louis Eagles in 1934. But this season, two of them moved. The California Golden Seals became the Cleveland Barons and the Kansas City Scouts went to Denver and became the Colorado Rockies.
The Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers, who had met in the Stanley Cup finals the previous year, again led the way during the regular season, but the Canadiens were unquestionably the creme de la creme. With 60 wins and 132 points, they broke the records they had set the year before, and they were virtually unbeatable at home, where they had a 33-1-6 record.
For the second straight year, Montreal's Guy Lafleur was the NHL's scoring leader, and he won his first Hart Trophy as the league's MVP. Larry Robinson won the Norris Trophy as the top defenseman, while goaltenders Ken Dryden and Michel 'Bunny' Larocque shared the Vezina Trophy.
The Flyers led the Patrick Division, just 6 points ahead of the New York Islanders, while the Boston Bruins edged the Buffalo Sabres by only 2 points in the Adams Division. The woeful Smythe Division didn't have a winning team. The division's first-place team, the St. Louis Blues, managed only a 32-39-9 record.
Boston eliminated the Los Angeles Kings and then swept the Flyers to advance into the finals. The Canadiens swept St. Louis and then had a surprisingly difficult series against the Islanders, finally winning in six games.
Bruin Coach Don Cherry commented before the final series, 'Someone said this was going to be a series of Rolls-Royces versus Jeeps.' That was a fairly accurate summation. Montreal outscored Boston, 10-3, in winning the first two games. The Bruins came a little closer in the first game at home, losing 4-2, and they forced the fourth game into overtime. But Jacques Lemaire scored at 4:32 of the extra period to give the Canadiens their second straight finals sweep.
Lafleur, who had 26 points in 14 post-season games, won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the outstanding player in the playoffs.