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Even the Senators owner didn’t see them doing this well

Jan 17, 2012, 10:24 AM EDT

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Eugene Melnyk Getty Images

You’ll never find a bigger optimist in Ottawa than their owner, Eugene Melnyk. He’s never been one to pull back his thoughts from thinking the Senators could make the playoffs and challenge for the Stanley Cup, but even he is stunned by how well his team is performing this season.

James Gordon of Senators Extra has the owner’s surprised outlook on their, to this point, successful season.

“I don’t think there’s a single person on the planet that expected us to do, including myself, expected us to do as well as we have,” Melnyk said. “But when you start putting everything together like they have in that dressing room and with the right coaching, the right leadership within the dressing room, young kids that are hungry, throw a little bit of veterans in there and, you know, work hard and enjoy yourself, and next thing you know, you’ve got a winning combination.”

The Senators are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference and seem like a virtual sure bet to make the playoffs. The Sens’ success even has Melnyk thinking his team will be a buyer at the trade deadline rather than a seller.

The one guy that Melnyk should be thanking the most for all the success is coach Paul MacLean. MacLean essentially took the same roster the Sens had last year and turned it into a winner. Craig Anderson‘s play in goal has been pretty good too.

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