As the game yesterday between the Buffalo Sabres and Montreal Canadiens was mercifully coming to an end, I saw many Tweets to the effect of, "Well this post game press conference should be interesting."
They couldn't have been further from the truth.
A stoic Ron Rolston dutifully went through the motions after the game, answering question after question from the media; the problem was that his answers didn't contain anything worth saying. Here's the entirety of the conversation between a monotone Rolston and a frustrated John Vogl, who tries to press the issue regarding the team's incredibly poor play last night:
"We didn't play well, the other team did. That was it, that was it. We got outworked, and we didn't play very well. We didn't have enough players going, we had too many passengers tonight."
Gee, thanks for the insight, coach.
Rolston's press conferences have become increasingly robotic as the team flounders its way towards the finish line. His answers, especially to questions of effort or passion, are usually a single sentence long, sometime little more than a few words or a shake of the head, and provide little explanation as to the why or how of why the team played the way it did. Since he's become head coach, I don't think I've heard him use more than one tone of voice post game no matter the outcome. He increasingly sounds like a man who simply doesn't have an answer to the question being asked, and admitted as much later in the presser yesterday to Paul Hamilton.
When asked why the team shows up with a lack of passion more often than not, Rolston went on to say, "If I knew [why], I'd solve it. "
Kudos for honesty, and truth be told it's not like I have a better answer for that question. However, it's Rolston's job to steer the ship and, right now the interim coach sounds as lost as Lindy Ruff did at the end of his Buffalo career. He's got eight more games to try and figure out how to get back on course, or at least to come up with better answers for why the team is going the wrong way.