Combine their inconsistent effort with their continuing tendency to take poor, lazy penalties and you have a 3-1 loss to one of the worst teams in the league.
After the embarrassment John Tortorella said he wouldn't give Buffalo any credit and he was disgusted and disappointed with how his top guys played. Despite being disgusted and disappointed with the Rangers on a regular basis, I do give the Sabres some credit. Interim head coach Ron Rolston had his largely unskilled lineup play smart, positional, counterattacking hockey. However (!) the Blueshirts, who should have been able to overcome that obstacle, couldn't break through.
They barely even tried.
Perhaps all of the confidence gained during their recent 5-1 run was just cockiness, a conceited self-assurance that made them overlook their awful opponents. Perhaps it is their innate inability to play 60 minutes of hockey. Perhaps they're beginning to get used to Tortorella's lash, giving a short knee-jerk of a reaction before the numbness sets in.
Whatever it may be, it can't go on and can't be allowed to happen again. There are tough games ahead and easy points like these shouldn't be pissed away.
Just a few Late Hits:
*As I wrote when the Rangers lost their last game before the 5-1 run, the Blueshirts inexplicably do not follow Ryan Callahan's example. The captain put forth his usual balls-to-the-wall, anything-for-the-team effort and yet no one followed suit. How is that even possible?
*Given that Del Zaster's defense is ... lacking ... his offense is supposed to make up for it. Two golden chances. No goals.
*The best offense came from Micheal Haley. Just think about that. You'll end up weeping, like me.
*Remember how everyone declared Marian Gaborik 'back' after his goal against the Islanders? Two games since, zero contributions.
*Hank outplayed his Swedish subject Jhonas Enroth, making several big saves. But Enroth's awfulness was hidden by the five skaters standing in between him and the Blueshirts. Hank was left to hang.
*No Kaleta, no revenge for Richard$. Not much physical play at all actually, aside from some guys clattering into each other once the puck is gone. Not surprising but disappointing nonetheless.
*PHW Three Stars:
3-Andrej Sekera - two assists.
2-Jhonas Enroth - 32 saves.
1-Marcus Foligno - two goals.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars:
3-Hank - Seriously, he made these saves.
2-Foligno - Mike's boy Marcus scored goals that Taylor Pyatt was scoring at the start of the season. The least he could have done was leap like his dad afterwards.
1-Ron Rolston - The Sabres bench boss knew how to get his team a chance to win. Torts knew how to piss off the media afterwards.