The year is 1968. The NHL looks much different.
Having completed the first season of expansion, the 12 team NHL allows 8 teams to qualify for the revamped Stanley Cup playoffs. This results in a third round, lengthening the run to the championship significantly. Teams would have to be victorious in the quarter-finals and semi-finals before competing for the Cup in the finals.
In order to promote Stanley Cup hockey in the new markets of St. Louis, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Los Angeles, Oakland and Pittsburgh, it was decided early on to essentially split the league up between the Original Six, and the new six. One of the new six teams was guaranteed to compete in the Stanley Cup finals!
That team turned out to be the St. Louis Blues, who escaped back-to-back 7 game series against Philadelphia and Minnesota. Their reward - the right to face the heavily favored Montreal Canadiens in the finals.
St. Louis had a definite Montreal flavour in their roster. Players included former Habs like Doug Harvey, Red Berenson, and Dickie Moore. But it was the coaching of a young Scotty Bowman, who left the Montreal organization to take the job in St. Louis, and the goaltending of former Chicago great Glenn Hall that really keyed the Blues' deep run.
Montreal appeared to have no problem with the Blues, sweeping the series 4 games to 0. Upon closer inspection the series was a very tight one, with every game decided by just one goal. Two of the games went into overtime.