|Tim Connolly (photo: Getty Images) |
Tim Connolly would like nothing else than to be lacing up his skates this Wednesday. That's his goal, but he'll have to wait and see if it comes to fruition.
Connolly finds himself in the all too familiar, frustrating and unfortunate situation of trying to rehabilitate a nagging injury that is taking its time to heal. He's been through it before but still holds out hope of facing the Ottawa Senators in HSBC Arena in two days.
Signs point to him possibly getting his wish.
"We'll see what happens," said Connolly. "Basically, I just go out and see how it feels.
"It's getting better day by day. It's still a little bit there, but it's at a point when it's not too hampering. I can pretty much do everything out there, so it's definitely moving in the right direction."
Connolly's recuperation has shown progress during practices. On Monday, he participated in all drills, including two-on-ones and two-on-twos around the net which focus on winning small battles along the boards and physical strength.
His coach seemed pleased with his level of participation and effort.
"He was a little more involved in the drills than he was yesterday," said head coach Lindy Ruff. "So from a standpoint of day to day, it still seems like he's getting better."
A setback is Connolly's biggest fear.
"It tightens up each day so it's something that you've got to stay on top of," said Connolly. "You have to keep it loose, stretched out, and warmed up. You don't want to go out there cold and risk the chance of re-injuring it."
The injury has forced Buffalo to cope without one of the team's top centers in their last five games. In this season's opening 13 contests, Connolly recorded a goal and 12 assists.
"I've been playing the entire year with some type of muscle sprain in my body, this just happens to be one that I wasn't able to skate with," said Connolly. "Now, it's coming back and healing pretty good. Hopefully, it will keep feeling better each day."
The Sabres tour of the Northeast Divison will come to a close this weekend with a home-and-home series with the Montreal Canadiens on Friday (7:30 p.m., MSG) and Saturday nights (7 p.m., MSG).
And while the team's results haven't been what they've wanted, posting a 2-4-0 record through six games, it wasn't for lack of effort or chances.
Buffalo outshot the opposition 199-161 in that span. Ironically, it was their 4-1 victory over Montreal that ended up being the only game where the Sabres threw fewer pucks at the net.
Don't miss the rematch of that game this Friday in HSBC Arena. Good seats are still available. Click here to purchase tickets.