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'We're going to have a great season'

Melnyk convinced Sens have 'everything we need' to succeed

Thursday, 10.8.2009 / 8:11 PM ET / Features
By Rob Brodie  - OttawaSenators.com
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\'We\'re going to have a great season\'
The Ottawa Senators' No. 1 fan is as enthusiastic as ever about the prospects for the team in the season ahead.

"I think we're going to have a great season," Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said before taking in Ottawa's home-opener against the New York Islanders at Scotiabank Place. "I'm not just being optimistic. I've seen what's happened (so far). I was at the Leaf game (a 2-1 Senators victory in Toronto on Tuesday night) with Bryan (Murray, the Sens' general manager) and we kind of picked apart the team and what we have.

"We pretty much have everything we need. All we need now is for everybody to play up to their potential. If that happens, we'll be as competitive as any team in the league and I really believe that. It's not hype, it's reality ... We've got grit, we've got the attitude now. You look at the veterans who have been here for some time now. If they all play to their potential, we're there."

While fans haven't quite warmed up to the team yet — the home-opener was attended by 18,075, not quite a sellout — Melnyk understands their cautious attitude. But he believes it won't take long for the fans to share his level of optimism about the team.

"You're coming off a season where you had distractions," he said. "We had distractions during the summer ... We didn't make the playoffs. So everybody sits back. But I really think it'll take just a few games for people to see this is the real deal and I think it is.

"We pretty much have everything we need. All we need now is for everybody to play up to their potential. If that happens, we'll be as competitive as any team in the league and I really believe that. It's not hype, it's reality ... We've got grit, we've got the attitude now. You look at the veterans who have been here for some time now. If they all play to their potential, we're there." - Eugene Melnyk
"They'll be coming back and we're going to get that funk together and that old swagger back."

Melnyk also acknowledged that Murray was handcuffed through the summer by the trade demand of Dany Heatley, who was finally shipped to the San Jose Sharks last month for a package that included forwards Milan Michalek and Jonathan Cheechoo.

"It just shows you how experience at the hockey management level really comes through, because anybody less than a Bryan Murray couldn't have pulled off a deal handcuffed the way he was," said Melnyk. "To be able to bring in the quality players that he did under those circumstances ... hat's off to him and I congratulated him."

"At the end of the day, we made the best of a situation that was very, very difficult."

After visiting the Senators dressing room before the game, Melnyk came away with a good feeling about the quality of the team that is wearing the red, white and black this season.

"You can see the attitude of these players," he said. "It's a show-me attitude. Once we put some points up in the standings after half a dozen games, people will all of a sudden realize that you know what, we're a real team now and we really are a great team."


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
2 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
3 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
4 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
5 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
6 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
7 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
8 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 54 11 48 9 59
B. Ryan 53 19 26 -2 45
M. Hoffman 50 23 18 5 41
M. Stone 52 16 25 -10 41
M. Zibanejad 53 11 22 -1 33
K. Turris 48 13 17 -11 30
J. Pageau 54 13 10 6 23
Z. Smith 53 11 5 7 16
C. Ceci 47 5 11 -1 16
C. Lazar 49 5 9 0 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 22 17 4 .914 2.86
A. Hammond 3 5 2 .900 3.10