Feb 22, 2013, 2:26 PM EST
In the wake of his first game as Buffalo Sabres head coach — a 3-1 loss to Toronto — Ron Rolston offered up a harsh assessment of his club.
“What happens right now with our hockey team,” Rolston told John Vogl of the Buffalo News,” is we’re the team that blinks first when you have a stare down.”
Interesting statement, that.
Though fresh on the job, Rolston has now twice taken aim at what he perceives to be character flaws within the Sabres room.
Here’s what he had to say prior to the Leafs game, courtesy the Globe and Mail:
If Ron Rolston delivered the same message to the players as he did to the media in his first full day as the new head coach of the Buffalo Sabres, then they were basically told they are a lazy bunch.
“From what I saw, it was just a lot of shortcuts,” Rolston said Thursday morning, a few hours before his first NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, when he was asked what he thought the trouble is with the struggling Sabres.
By shortcuts, Rolston said, he meant players “resting” during their shifts, “stuff you have to eliminate if you want to be a good team.”
The Sabres’ performance on Thursday did little to endear them to the new head coach.
While Rolston said he thought they “got better in some areas,” the team was outplayed in the final two periods by a Leafs squad that, according to head coach Randy Carlyle, simply wore Buffalo out.
“Once we can get on that forecheck and continue to throw that puck in and come at a team in waves, we can be an effective in grinding teams down,” Carlyle said.
It’ll be interested to see what, if any, changes Rolston makes in the coming days.
The Sabres are at home on Saturday to face the Islanders, then begin one of their toughest stretches of the season — six of their next seven games will be on the road, including a four-game trip against the Rangers, ‘Canes, Devils and Flyers from Mar. 3-10.
- Ducks score four third-period goals, come back to beat rival Kings 5
- Blackhawks aren’t done talking trades, will look to add another forward 4
- Breaking: Flyers trade Kimmo Timonen to Blackhawks 21
- Video: Couture fined $5K for slew-footing Smith 22
- Time to start winning — Bruins’ next four games are against non-playoff teams 17
- Burgled: Sens’ Hammond shuts out Kings 14
- Wild get important win vs. Preds (and some luck, too) 41
- Trading baggage: Blue Jackets grab Clarkson, send Horton’s contract to Leafs 66
- Panthers acquire Jagr from Devils 29
- Trotz doesn’t see a ‘big, sexy, difference-maker guy’ on the market 17
- Petrovic: Chicago will ‘probably seek revenge’ for Kane injury tonight (82)
- ‘I don’t know why we’re so comfortable,’ says Toews after loss to Avalanche (69)
- Report: Alex Petrovic avoids discipline after injuring Patrick Kane (69)
- Trading baggage: Blue Jackets grab Clarkson, send Horton’s contract to Leafs (66)
- Lindros files $3M defamation lawsuit against ex-referee Stewart (Updated: Now $250K) (65)