Domi: Leafs wanted to make Melnyk 'eat his words'

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 5:29 PM ET


 TORONTO -- A rookie better be wary going into the corners with Leafs tough guy Tie Domi.

 The Buds enforcer said the Leafs got fired up by the boast from Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, who said "we"ll kill them" when asked how his club would do last night in Game 7.

 "It's like their rookie owner said, 'the cream always rises to the top.' So I guess we rolled to the top," said Domi, who assisted on Toronto's opening goal in their 4-1 win at the Air Canada Centre last night, ending the Senators' season.

 "Hey, I think that was a big inspiration for us. We definitely wanted to make him eat his words."

 The Leafs have banned newspapers from the dressing room, but Melnyk's bold prediction, made after the Senators came from behind to win Game 6 in double overtime, got big play on television.

 "The guys watch in the lounge and there was a lot of, 'Hey, get over there and listen to this guy.' That one got filtered around quite a bit."

 Domi, one of the Leafs' best forwards in the series in the absence of captain Mats Sundin, was more kind to Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson. He took some heat for making a couple of predictions, including his statement that the Senators would come back and win the series after dropping Game 5 to fall behind 3-2 in the series.

 "He's a world-class hockey player and one of the best in the league," said Domi. "I have a lot of respect for him."

 Domi, playing on a line with Chad Kilger and Robert Reichel, helped form one of the Leafs' most effective units against Ottawa last night.


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