Cup-winning vets a key to Game 7 

June, 15, 2011

The NHL Experts blog is a collaboration of voices from around and inside the game of hockey. With viewpoints ranging from the press box to the front office, the Experts blog will offer unique perspectives through the playoffs to keep readers informed of significant storylines in all aspects of the game.

Game 7. Each and every player for the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins knows what is at stake with respect to the outcome. The buildup to the game is where the excitement, the anxious moments, the time thinking about achieving your goal, in most instances a lifelong goal, takes place. In that manner, Game 7s are as much a "head game" as a physical one.

In terms of the 2010-11 season, it is Game 107 for both of these teams. By now, routines are firmly established, the game plans entrenched and the familiarity with your opponent strong. The key to success, for both teams, is to keep your head level and keep your ultimate goal in mind. My past experiences have taught me that much.

Craig Button contributes regularly to ESPN Insider. Since 1988, Button has worked in the NHL as a scout and later as director of scouting with the Minnesota North Stars, becoming director of player personnel after the franchise relocated to Dallas. He later served as vice president and general manager of the Calgary Flames. He currently works as an analyst for the NHL Network.