Should the Buffalo Sabres Hold Off on Tim Connolly?

Todd MorseAnalyst IJanuary 8, 2009

Sabres fans rejoice, Tim Connolly has healed!




He is apparently healthy and ready to get back into the lineup.




For Buffalonians, Connolly returning from an injury is as repetitive as the winter snow.


It is unfortunate that his health has been a train wreck.  When healthy, Connolly brings offense, defense, power play, penalty killing, and an extra step to the Sabres.  He is an absolute weapon.


Connolly came back from the lockout a different player.  Somewhere along the way, he morphed into a fearless play-maker with unparalleled vision, agility, and hands.  His talent is undeniable and at times, unstoppable.


It is ironic that with his incredible ability to see three steps ahead of a play, his career began to derail due to a brutal hit caused by keeping his head down.


Since the lockout, whether Connolly will be in the lineup has become an antagonizing question. He has played in 119 of a possible 286 games.  That is a mere 41.6 percent.


Halfway through the schedule, the Sabres sit in eighth place, one point ahead of the formidable Penguins, with only Ottawa and consistent losers behind the Pens.  The Sabres continue to show the inconsistency and lack of resiliency which hindered the team last season. 


Recently, however, they are getting healthy and picking up steam.  They have begun to show stretches, instead of flashes, of renewed vigor, urgency, chemistry, and momentum. 


Still, even with their inconsistencies, the team remains as a top—nine team and seems like they’ll be able to remain in the hunt for the season.  Whether the team remains inconsistent, or goes on a run, they don’t need Connolly immediately. 


Connolly is always one shift away from his next injury, and the team should put him on the shelf until March.  Other than reducing the probability of injury, this plan is effective because it gives Connolly about 19 regular season games with the team, and adds his skills to the lineup at the right time. 


Of course, adding Connolly to the lineup at any time is a benefit, but picking the right time to utilize his talents could be the difference between the fourth seed and the eighth, as well as give the team a boost when it will need it most.