Melnyk pumped for playoffs

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:41 AM ET

Eugene Melnyk will leave a war zone in Afghanistan to return home today and get ready to watch the Senators race for the Stanley Cup.

While the Senators owner was thrilled with his visit to the Canadian Forces Base in Kandahar, he's also looking forward to kicking up his feet next week when the post-season begins.

But Melnyk isn't going to attend all of Ottawa's playoff games in person. Instead, he's going to split his time between Bert's Bar in the Barbados and being in the stands either at Scotiabank Place or on the road.

"If I'm not at Bert's Bar, the people get upset at me there and if I'm not with the team watching it live, then they get upset with me there," Melnyk said on a conference call last night from Afghanistan. "I'm going to try to watch the first three games at Bert's Bar and then I'll fly to watch the deciding games of the series. I'm making those plans right now and like everybody else I want to do that right through June."

Melnyk, who was in the Middle East because had two horses racing in the Dubai World Cup on the weekend, is well aware that winning the Cup isn't going to be easy.With nobody running away in the standings this year, he wasn't making any bold predictions about the Senators.

"I've never seen in my years following hockey such tight competition from (No. 1-No. 16). That's absolutely phenomenal. A lot is going to depend on injuries," said Melnyk. "Everybody will have to step up. Goaltending will be very important. It will be the last man standing. It's going to be a nailbiter, no matter who we play."


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