This wasn’t John Tortorella talking to the media, but the Rangers coach addressing his team, peppering it with harsh judgments and questioning the fortitude of his top players.

“I don’t think the Sabres were the hungrier team, I thought we stunk,” Tortorella said after his team lost to the aforementioned Sabres, 3-1, last night at the First Niagara Center. “I’m not going to give Buffalo any credit. I will give their third line credit, they outplayed our top players and that can’t happen.”

The Sabres’ third line included Marcus Foligno, who scored two goals and stood in stark contrast to Marian Gaborik, the Rangers’ former superstar goal scorer who seems now to be a shadow of himself. After the second period, Gaborik was demoted off the second line and replaced by the likes of call-up enforcer Micheal Haley.

“I couldn’t be more disgusted and disappointed with the way our top guys played, with the way we handled ourselves through it,” Tortorella said. “That team was ripe to be beaten and we simply did not play the way we’re supposed to play.”

With five minor penalties and few sparks of sustained pressure, the good feeling of the Rangers’ (13-10-2) five wins in the past six games has dissipated. And Tortorella’s feelings were made very clear as he stared at the media with his steely eyes, attempting to grab his players by the shorthairs and wake them up before this shortened season — now in its second half — is out of their grasp.

“Did you ask them? Did you ask them any questions?” Tortorella said. “I don’t know why I always have to answer all these questions. You should ask them occasionally about what happened.”

So out walked Gaborik, who somehow finished the game with 14:56 of ice time after getting just 2:27 in the penalty-ridden second period. He was a minus-2, had three shots that were entirely forgettable, and now has one goal in his past 11 games, scoring in five of the team’s opening 25 contests.

“I have to play better, but I want to be out there in every situation I can,” Gaborik said. “I need to be more consistent. The goals haven’t been going [in] for me, so I have to keep working hard.”