It looks as though the most talented player who never plays will be out of the lineup once again. This will be the third seperate injury that Connolly has suffered this season. Connolly took a vicious hit from Keith Tkachuk on Wednesday night and is day-to-day with a bruised chest. Lindy Ruff said "there is no head trauma whatsoever". If that information is accurate is very good news for Tim and the Sabres. One would guess that one more head injury to Connolly would probably end his career because of the history he has had with concussions.
Connolly being injured has become the butt of many jokes throughout the blogosphere but the fact remains that the Sabres are a better team with him in the lineup. Connolly has two goals and four assists in only five games played. In addition he has sparked Jason Pominville who started the season slowly until he partnered with Tim Connolly the past couple of games.
We asked the question last week, What to do with Tim Connolly? That question is even more appropriate now with him once again out of the lineup. The fact is that Tim Connolly is a huge difference maker for the Sabres and his value is probably not very high on the open market. Many people feel that the Sabres should try to trade Connolly away because his injury struggles are too great. The question is...what could you get for Tim Connolly? Probably not a lot and he adds a whole new dimension to the team when he plays.
It appears that Connolly won't be the only player that will be out of the lineup on Friday. Max Afinogenov was dropped from the third line and was one of four forwards that skated with the fourth line. Afinogenov is not injured but he is in teh doghouse of head coach Lindy Ruff. Afinogenov has made a career of giving the pucj away and it appears as though Lindy Ruff is going to try to send him a message.
Afinogenov is another player that is explosive when he is on his game but this team can't afford to be giving away goals when they are ahead in games. Afinogenov has been a career under achiever and is often not in the good graces of the Sabres faithful. Stay tuned to see exactly what Lindy will do with the lineup tomorrow.