Tim Connolly: 2010-2011 Report Card

It's time to put the finishing touches on the 2010-2011 season for the Buffalo Sabres. Here is a complete report card of every single player that played any amount of time with the Sabres this season. The journey began with Luke Adam and conclude in a month with Mike Weber. Thanks to Japers Rink and Mile High Hockey for the inspiration.


Tim Connolly

#19 / Center / Buffalo Sabres

6-1

190

May 07, 1981

Contract: $4.5 million cap hit, will become a UFA

GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT

2010 - Tim Connolly

Playoffs

68

6

13

0

29

2

42

2

-10

-2

20

2

6

0

0

0

3

0

151

12

8.6

0.0


Introduction: Tim Connolly has long been the whipping boy for Sabres fans to vent on, and for many reasons. Everything from his performance, to his contract, to his injuries and his heart have been questioned by longtime supporters. Well, for those of you who despise Timmy, you're in luck because the odds are that this was his last year as a Buffalo Sabre.

If that's true, it's unfortunate in an offensive sense, because despite appearing in 68 games, Connolly had a fairly disappointing season in terms of points even though he functioned as the Sabres' number one center for much of the year and played in all situations. Will this be last we see of #19 in the blue and gold? Whether it is or not, let's review his season after the break.

Key Stat: The key stat is that I will literally fight you if you try to beat the dead horse of "Tim Connolly has no heart." The guy was one of the Sabres best penalty killers this season, and was always the first forward out to defend a 5 on 3. He was second only to McCormick in blocked shots by a forward, and when he's on the ice he's not at all afraid to stand up for his teammates, as he was the first guy in on Niklas Hjalmarsson after the Chicago player concussed Jason Pominville, and as he was on Scott Gomez after he tripped Ryan Miller. Sure, he doesn't hit people, but playing with heart is about more than who gets the most Carubba Collisions -- continuing to play through a shattered-then-reconstructed face, for instance. Say what you will about Timmy, but he's earned the right to be described as a player who cares.

Thumbs Up: Despite his low point total, Connolly continues to produce on the power play, where he was tied for second on the team with 19 points, and third with 6 goals. Now for the part where the Connolly love-fest stops -- aside from the aforementioned PK/heart stuff, there wasn't too much to like about Connolly's season. I suppose the fact that he managed to play in 68 games was quite an accomplishment.

Thumbs Down: Out of guys that played more than half the year, Connolly was the worst forward on the team in terms of goals against/60. Connolly's -10 was his worst since 2002-2003, when he was an abysmal -28. He had the lowest number of credited hits among forwards who played half the year, and #19 took almost 1,000 faceoffs this year yet won only 45% of them. Even though he'll turn 30 this offseason, Connolly still believes he has the hands of a 24-year old, and thus loses the puck every time he tries to stickhandle through three opposing players on the power play; you know what I'm talking about if you've watched more than five Sabres games this year. To top it all off, Timmy hasn't scored a playoff goal since 2005-06. 

Voting: On a scale of one to ten, one being the lowest and ten being the highest, grade Tim Connolly on his season according to the expectations you had for him. If he met them, give him a five or a six. If he eclipsed them, aim for a seven or beyond. If he failed to meet them, give him a lower number relating to how poorly he missed the target.

Topics of Discussion: What will happen to Connolly in the offseason? Have any of your feelings about him changed this year for better or worse? Would you want to bring him back to Buffalo if the price was right? Heck, will he even ever play again after suffering a separated sternum in the playoffs, the latest in a long line of injuries? 

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