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The redemption of Tim Connolly

Mar 6, 2010, 1:15 PM EDT

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connollygwg.jpgPeople want to believe that they can control most of things that happen in their lives, but let’s face it, there are times when it all comes down to luck. Few hockey players can relate to that sentiment quite as much as oft-injured Buffalo Sabres center Tim Connolly.

The slickly skilled center scored a thrilling game winning goal in overtime against the Philadelphia Flyers last night, a moment that some might have found unthinkable just a year ago. Despite showing plenty of skill (and averaging close to a point per game) when he managed to get on the ice, injuries have hampered his career on a level that only the likes of Marian Gaborik and Pavol Demitra can understand.
Even Wile E. Coyote would cringe at his lengthy injury list; since 2006 he’s dealt with a variety of knee, hip and groin injuries, broke some ribs and missed 80 games because of concussions. Rafael Ladysz put it well when he wrote:
“Whatever happens in the near future, nobody can doubt the genius that is a healthy Tim Connolly. His stick-handling can’t be matched by many, his vision opens up the ice for others, and he can fire home the puck when he has the chance.”

Could a healthy season (57 points in all 63 of Buffalo’s games) be a sign that Connolly could be the player Sabres fans have been hoping for? Who knows, but I’m certainly hoping that luck will be on his side from now on.

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