Brad Boyes' 43 goals season from 2007-08 are what gives most Sabres' fans the biggest smile when they look at the potential of the newest Sabre. Could Boyes turn around the biggest whipping boy on the team, Tim Connolly?
Boyes and Connolly were teammates together with the Erie Otters back when Boyes entered the OHL in 1998-99. During that one season, Connolly had 68 points (34+34) while Boyes had 60 points (24+36). During most of that season, Connolly and Boyes were on the same line. Boyes talked about his experience with Connolly in Erie during one of his first interviews:
"He was awesome. I came to Erie as a 16-year-old and he was there at 17. He was a guy that took me in right away, took care of me, looked after me. I was kind of wide-eyed after moving away from home and stuff like that. He was just a lot more mature beyond his years at that point, I think, which was something that was good for me, someone that I could look up to.
Connolly could use any sort of pick up at this point in his career. His eight goals are the lowest since his seven goal, injury shortened season in 2007-08. His 26 points is the lowest since 2002-03 at this point in the season. The connection between the two players is why Lindy Ruff paired the two players together in Boyes' first game in Buffalo. If Boyes could spark some of Connolly's inner teenager and find the scoring touch he had back in Erie, it would make the trade worth that much more.