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No one is happier than this girl to not only see this face again, but to see it bearing a grin.
If you asked me if I could sum up Connolly’s career in one word, I’d chose unfortunate, the definition of which states that it is something marked or accompanied by or resulting in ill fortune. Tim Connolly is incredibly gifted and is a fantastic hockey player, but the poor guy has had more injuries that I can count.
The serious ones began back in his junior year, while playing down the 90 in Erie, with the Otters. In the 1998-99 season, Connolly broke his leg during a game, resulting in a rod being placed in his tibia.
This injury hardly affected his draft status, as the New York Islanders took him fifth overall that year. Despite just coming off of his broken leg, Connolly made the team out of camp. He played 81 games in his rookie season, recording only 10 goals, but snagging 20 assists for 34 points on the year. Not too shabby for a rookie, especially in the Old NHL, but more would definitely be expected of a first-round pick.
In his sophomore season, Connolly appeared in all 82 games, this time posting 10 goals, but 31 assists, improving his points total to a high 41.
The summer after that season, Tim was attending the high school graduation of his younger twin sisters, Caitlin and Shannon. Their graduation coincided with the second day of the NHL Entry Draft. Connolly admitted being excited, due to NYI’s acquisition of Alexei Yashin and Chris Osgood, and since the first day is usually when the wheeling and dealing occurs, he was completely shocked when GM Mike Milbury called–during the ceremony–to tell him that he and Taylor Pyatt had been sent packing to Buffalo, in exchange for Mike Peca.
So, Connolly suited up in the red and black. In his first season for the Sabres, Connolly again played all 82 games, but struggled to produce, improving on his previous totals, but hardly significantly. He scored 10 goals again, and tallied 35 assists, heightening his points total by four to 45.
In his fourth career season–second with the Sabres–Connolly severly underachieved, only netting 12 goals and 13 assists, for 25 points. Tim appeared in 80 games, and only missed the last two of the season due to a suspension, warranted due to swinging a stick at an opponent.
At this point in time, Tim looked reliable, at least health-wise. He was one of the leading Iron Men in the league, playing over 300 straight games (I believe he had a run of over 320, but I can’t find the exact number, and I think that put him at third in the rank).
But it all went downhill from there.
In the preseason of the 2003-2004 season, the Sabres were playing an exhibition game against the Chicago Blackhawks. This is what Tim had to say:
I took a mid-ice, shoulder-to-head hit with Scott Nichol from the Blackhawks. It was a clean hit, but I had just taken a shot, so I was in a vulnerable position where I couldn’t really brace myself. I didn’t get knocked out, I skated to the bench, but I was out of it. My legs gave out a little bit. I had never suffered a concussion before, but it was one of those situations where it wouldn’t go away. It took more than six months before my head was clear and I was able to work out and get back in the swing of things. (From ESPN.com)
Needless to say, as I’m sure you’re all well aware, Tim missed that entire season.
Cue the lockout. Tim opted to play in Switzerland, with HC Lugano. There, he played 16 games, had seven goals and three assists. His stay in Europe was cut short, though, due to a knee injury.
So Tim returned to New York, and rehabbed his knee to be sure that it would be ready for the upcoming NHL season.
In 2005-2006, Connolly was limited to 63 games in the regular season, due to a controversial knee injury. This happened when Darius Kasparaitis, then of the New York Rangers, checked Connolly low, causing him to miss time. In this season, though, Connolly recorded 16 goals and 39 assists, combining for 55 points, career highs across the board. At this point in time, he was registering .87 points per game. Hardly anything to sneeze at.
In his first playoff appearance, Connolly only played in 8 games, but registered five goals and six assists for 11 points, which would be 1.375 points per game. He did not conclude the Sabres’ playoff push with them, though, because he suffered a second concussion, thanks to a vicious, but clean, hit, from the Ottawa Senators’ Peter Schaefer, now with the Boston Bruins.
Because of problems thought to be related to his second concussion, Connolly sat out all but the last two games of the 2006-2007 season. In those last two games, he recorded one goal.
In the playoffs that year, though, Tim played 16 games, recording nine assists.
On to the 2007-2008 season. Connolly struggled throughout the year with bone spurs in his hip, which eventually required surgery. He suited up for only 48 games, scoring only seven goals, adding 33 helpers, but in the end only posted 40 points. Obviously more is needed from Connolly, whose points per game total for the season then sat at .83.
Thus far this season, Connolly has had fractured vertebrae and a broken rib, limiting him to only six of the the Sabres’ 40 games. In those six games, though, Connolly has put up two goals and five assists, for a points per game average of 1.167.
None of this goes to show how skilled Connolly is, though. He has long been Ruff’s PP QB, and always sees ice time on the PK. His teammates will always say how gifted he is, and how difficult he can be to play against.
But what do his numbers really mean to us? Why is he valuable to this team?
Let’s allow his career totals to do the talking, shall we? In the nine seasons Connolly was with an NHL team (the season he missed due to concussion symptoms and the current season included), he’s only played 444 of a possible 696 games (only 63.8%). In those games, he’s recorded 72 goals and 176 assists, for a total of 248 points. That’s only an average of .558 points per game, which would equate to 45.8 points on a season.
Like I said, I love Tim Connolly more than the next Sabres fan. I have since we acquired him, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. My point is, his numbers suck. They definitely do not portray the player we all know Connolly has the potential to be. The problem is, he is so injury-plagued that he probably will never live up to his own expectations, let alone ours.
But I’m glad to see he’ll be back tomorrow. Our power play sure as hell needs him, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a center who can really see the ice and find good passing lanes out there.
The question remains, how much longer will Timmy be wearing blue and gold? Will he be gone by the trade deadline? Is he going to leave that day? Over the summer? Or will he stay with us? Your guess is as good as mine, seeing as how Afinogenov is a bigger problem, and Kotalik would probably garner the most interest from other teams. It doesn’t hurt that the coaching staff loves Connolly. If he does stay, though, he’d better be willing to take a sizeable pay cut, because there is no way, talent aside, that a guy that injury-riddled deserves a salary of $2.9 million per season.
Speaking of trades, there are rumors spreading up in Portland. They’ve hit a snag this season with goaltending, as Adam Dennis recently required season-ending hip surgery. That means Jhonas Enroth has been shouldering all of the duties, now coming up on his (I believe) 11th game in a row.
Their need of a goalie, combined with the Sabres’ supposed interest in keeping Chris Butler (we’ll see about that one) and Matt Ellis up in Buffalo, would obviously present the Sabres with a predicament. In order to keep extra bodies up in the NHL, they’d have to clear roster space. The obvious bodies to move would be Afinogenov and Paetsch, Max for obvious reasons, and Paetsch because he’s the odd man out. Kotalik and Connolly could also be moved due to contract years, but that’s hardly likely; Kotalik is a force on this team, and Connolly has virtually no stock.
Maine Hockey Journal reported that Kevin Dineen, the coach of the Portland Pirates, had some interesting sound bytes one the subject, suggesting the Buffalo brass have something in the works:
“(Goalie search) has been put off for a reason and won’t be clarified til Friday at the earliest,” said Dineen.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens, that’s for sure.
And seeing as Derek Roy actually called up Kiss 98.5 this morning, I can tell you what he had to say. Honestly, though, I think this is the first actual D.R.R. in about a month, mostly due to the holidays falling on Thursdays…
– Andrew Peters’ thumb is bruised, was bleeding yesterday, and it still hurts.
– Derek suggested that Andy’s fingers taste like chicken wings.
– He says you shouldn’t bite people unless your life is in danger. Nick added, “Unless you’re on Chippewa.”
– He’s excited to play against Chris Drury.
– Is he doing anything differently? No. He’s sticking with his system.
– VitaminWater flavor? Endurance/Mango.
– Sometimes works out after games.
– January has a ridiculous travel schedule. He may just leave his suitcase packed.
– Doesn’t have any pets.
– Did he send a baby gift to Rob Ray? No.
– He was 3 when he first skated. His brothers were about that age as well. He was awful, falling everywhere. Couldn’t stop until he was “like 10 years old.”
Finally, he called them, and finally some oddball information.
Well, kids, it snowed again. Big surprise. I’m off to shovel, and the hopefully I’ll feel spry enough to head to the gym. That’s my plan, at least. I’ll be back if I hear any juicy information.
My friends, D-Day, as NHL.com has dubbed it, is upon us.
AND MY SECOND-FAVORITE NHL TEAM HAS LET ME DOWN. Vancouver…. WHYYYYY???
If you don’t get it by now, Mats Sundin has signed with the Canucks, as and you can tell, I’m not happy about it.
So, moving on, and I only have–literally–five minutes, here’s the latest installment of the Derek Roy Report, which I missed this morning, choosing to sleep a little bit more, rather than get stood up again. Turns out he actually showed up. Go figure.
Be back tomorrow, loves.
Last night, when the Sabres came storming out of the gate, I came up with a really nifty idea for my post-game post. AND THEN DEREK SCORED, and that post became a little bit better.
BUT THEN THOSE IDIOTS FELL APART AGAIN.
So my plan was shot to hell, and my heart shattered, and now I don’t even know where to begin.
Well, I’ll begin with Tim Connolly, I suppose.
I’m seriously worried about this guy. Like, even though I don’t like to talk to my inside-the-Sabres source too, too much, because he really drives me crazy, I’m seriously tempted to call him and find out what’s going on. BUT, I don’t think he’d be able to tell me, but idk. If I decide it’s worth him pestering me all the time, I’ll give The Boy a call. Until then, we can speculate.
This is what Lindy had to say:
“Here’s what I’ll rule out: It has absolutely nothing to do with concussion; it has absolutely nothing to do with vertebrae. It’s brand new.
“It’s an injury that I don’t want to explain. It’s a tough one, and I don’t want to explain it. I give him a lot of credit for muscling his way through one game. If it was a groin injury, I’d tell you a groin because nobody’s going to go after his groin. If it’s an injury where I really think somebody could target, you don’t say anything.”
IS THAT SUPPOSED TO HELP ME COPE, LINDY??? BECAUSE IT’S NOT WORKING. Now, I’ll be the first person to rag on Timmy when he gets a stupid injury, or if he misses practice, or if he’s found passed out on the floor of the Snooty Fox, but in all actuality, I LOVE HIM TO DEATH. And I’m not ashamed to admit it. It’s embarrassing at times, yes, but even Danny Paille admitted that he has NKOTB on his iPod. Close enough.
And he thinks it’s that bad, to the point that it’s something that would make him a target?? Now, again, I’ll be the first person to say that Timmy won’t be here come July of 2010, BUT HE’S MY TIMMY. DON’T HURT HIM. Or you’ll quickly find yourself on my Hockey Player Hit List. I’ll have to tell you about it someday, but most of the people on it are there for knocking Tim into the next season.
Seriously, though, while reviewing a bunch of stuff for my Medical Terminology class, I decided to try to figure out what’s really wrong with Tim. The only things “musculoskeletal” that I could come up with, having to deal with the upper body, that could present itself as “a bruised chest,” were the following:
– BROKEN OR FRACTURED RIBS. That’s any crack or break, anywhere on the bone of a rib. They usually take 1-2 months to completely heal, since there’s nothing that can be done by a human to have any effect, really.
– COSTOCHONDRAL SEPARATION. These are a little more touchy. This occurs when the bone of the rib, in the middle ribs, separates from the cartilage attaching it to the sternum. Treatment for this can take up to 12 weeks, possibly more.
– The other possibility I can think of would be a cracked sternum. This would take a ridiculously long time to heal, just because of the thickness and strength of the bones in that area: the manubrium (the flatter, rounder, top portion of the sternum), the sternum, the xiphoid process (the small, pointy, lowest portion of the sternum), the ribs, and the clavicles. They’re very strong, and because of their function, it would take them a good amount of time to heal, and to heal properly.
I think the most likely would be the costochondral separation. But, since Tim’s injury is presenting as a bruised chest, I want to say that there’s at least one break or fracture. The break in a bone and leaking of bone marrow would give the appearance of a bruise.
I don’t know, though. It’s difficult to say. It really could be a number of things. Plus, I’m not too sure, just because Lindy’s scared. And if Lindy’s worried, then I definitely am.
Sorry I was boring you with medical talk. It actually allows me to study while I post, which is weird, and I’ll never do it again, I promise…
On to the Derek Roy Report.
Derek actually woke up this morning. SHOCKING. Because after that game, if I were him, I would’ve skipped this week, not last.
– Oh, hey! He’s talking about The System!! Another shock!
– He’s excited to play the Flyers, because of Marty and that like puke.
– He said that the practices can be short (45 minutes), up to 75-90 minutes.
– They are not allowed to have their cell phones on the ice.
– Has he ever checked out Rivet’s six-pack. “Is that serious? Yeah, he’s built.”
– If he could live forever, what would he live for? “For my family.” SUPER CUTE. MAJOR POINTS.
– He gets a Big Extra Meal with a side of chicken nuggets with sweet and sour sauce at McDonald’s.
– Derek doesn’t know what he’ll be wearing to Level on Saturday, and says he won’t be dancing.
– Funniest fan story? “I don’t know… Let me get back to you on that one.”
– How is Kyle? “He’s good, he’s good.” Apparently he wants his own show on Kiss.
THAT WAS LAME, TOO.
BUT WHY DO I ALWAYS HAVE TO WORK WHEN COOL THINGS HAPPEN? KISS IS THROWING A PARTY FOR DEREK AT LEVEL NIGHT CLUB ON SATURDAY. That’s bull. I’m pissed. I mean, I suppose I could go after work, but of course my friend would have to be coming home from school on Saturday and she wants our group to go out for midnight pie, since that’s a bit of a tradition with us. And I’m not so sure if I said to this friend, “LET’S GO CLUBBING ‘CAUSE PRINCESS D IS OUT,” she’d be down with it. Sad.
And to the girl who asked D if Craig has a six-pack?? WAY TO MAKE HIM SEEM EVEN MORE GAY. I’m pretty sure all the guys do in the locker room is check each other out. BUT, I do think I should e-mail Janet and include Derek’s chunky monkey pic, and have her ask him if he has a six-pack, and when he says “yes,” confront him with that gem. Think it would work??
But I’d love to Craig’s six-pack any day. Hell, I’d pay to see it.
Yeah, that’s right, Craig. Because Derek said that on the air, you’re going to be hit on by teenagers and college students across Western New York. And all they’ll want to see are your abs. I can’t say I blame them, though.
Oh, and hey! While the Sabres can’t win, I’M SO GLAD THE PIRATES CAN. Thank God that one of my teams is playing consistantly. And you should definitely go seen the renovations Anne and S(h)ara have done to Sabretooth’s House. They’re glorious.
Alright, kids. I’m out. And by out, I mean at the dining room table, still studying, instead of going out in the 30-degree, snowy weather. So, stay warm, loves. And if anyone hears anything about Timmy, txt me, please?? Thanks dears!!
(3) What to do with free time in NYC?
So I woke up at 8:00 am for nothing because right now it’s 8:35, and still no Derek Roy report. They just told me that he’d be on after they played Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours,” which is fine by me because I love him too, but after that, they’re now playing “Sexy Can I?” I’m a little miffed.