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Connolly set to return

The Buffalo Sabres are set to get an important piece of the puzzle back in the lineup on Friday night.  Sure there are plenty of Tim Connolly injury jokes that could be inserted here now but this comes at the perfect time for the Sabres. 

I would venture to say that Tim Connolly is the Sabres best player when he is in the lineup.  There is no denying that he brings a whole new dynamic to the team and most importantly two good scoring lines.  We all know that this team had three scoring lines when they won the Presidents Trophy, that will not happen again but this team hasn't even had two scoring lines recently.

Somehow this team has won three games in a row with makeshift lines that  were put together by Lindy Ruff in order to prove a point.  Well Lindy, your point was made now give your team the best chance to win every night.  The plan worked only because Matt Ellis had a week better than any he has had in his life.

The current line combinations without Connolly looked something like this...


Vanek Roy Stafford
Ellis Gaustad Pominville
MacArthur Mair Kotalik
Peters Hecht Paille


Not exactly setting the world on fire with these line combinations.  Seriously, is any team scared when they have to face the Sabres?  The infusion of Tim Connolly in the lineup will change these line combinations considerably.  

If I was the coach the lines would look something like this...


Score 1 Vanek Roy Stafford
Score 2 MacArthur Connolly Pominville
Check Hecht Gaustad Kotalik
Line 4 Ellis Mair Paille



If the Sabres put a lineup like the one above on the ice it will give them two legitimate scoring lines and possibly a checking line.  It still doesn't compare to the highlight reel offense they had a couple of seasons ago but Connolly brings a whole new dimension for this team.  

2008 - Tim Connolly 6 2 5 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 16 12.5

As you can see on the above stat line...Connolly has played only six games this season and has seven points.  That is the type of play that this team needed but the big question is how long will it last.  I would love to see Timmy stay in the lineup all season but I would say there is like a 20% chance of that actually happening.