April 4: Show In Review
Bob and Matt recap the Leafs win over the Bruins, but also chat about how the team’s defence needs a major overhaul with Tyler Dellow and Bruce Arthur, and Brendan Kennedy checks in to discuss the rumours that Blue Jays ownership may be unwilling to increase payroll.
Tyler Dellow, MC79Hockey.com
Speed can make up for a lack of defence, and the Leafs have proven that. You have to keep the force-field of doubt ahead for the Leafs, as the most likely outcome is that the Leafs drop a few points and are left on the outside looking in. Can see Reimer being a useful starting goalie somewhere along the line, whether it be with the Islanders or the Jets.
Bruce Arthur, National Post
Fixing this team won’t be easy, because you can’t just go out and add free agents like a Pietrangelo. Coaching has been a problem with this team, and the defensive core is weak, and they are weak as anything up the middle. This is a deeply flawed team that cannot compete in its current iteration. The Blue Jays have made a commitment to a top 10 payroll, and if the Blue Jays went to their star players and asked them to defer salary, that would be very troubling.
Brendan Kennedy, Toronto Star
The Jays did seem to have the money for Santana, and they did seem to have a handshake agreement with him, but there were extenuating circumstances in Atlanta that led to him signing there. There isn’t a guy who is easier to root for than Dustin McGowan.
April 3: Show In Review
Live from the ACC, Bob and Matt tee up Leafs/Bruins on TSN 1050 with Adam Proteau, Jonas Siegel James Mirtle and Joe Haggerty, and Joe Sheehan and Gregor Chisholm check in to discuss Jose Bautista’s pitcher-catcher chemistry comments and whether they were a shot at JP Arencibia.
9:15: Adam Proteau, The Hockey News
David Bolland has been through the wars, but he was not going to be able to change the Leafs season on his own. Jarome Iginla’s play has been a little bit of a shock this season. He hasn’t lost his skill or drive and he doesn’t have to be the guy in Boston. When Iginla went to Pittsburgh it was harder to relax and find his game than it has been in Boston. Accelerating the Leafs growth and rushing them to making cup will make the problem worse in the long run.
10:00: Joe Sheehan, Sports Illustrated
Navarro got this contract because he had a big offensive season last year. If there is an effect between pitcher and catcher, it is hard to see. He likes the idea of replay, but the implementation system is wrong. Challenges will probably disappear within 5 years and it will be a more streamlined process by the league reviewing plays. He thinks that the Yankees will be a better team than last year.
10:15: Jonas Siegel, TSN 1050 Leafs Reporter, Live at the ACC
Winning at the end of the season, where the Leafs miss the playoffs will not help them at the beginning of the next season. Carlyle’s future will be closely examined if the Leafs miss the playoffs along with other issues on the team. If management could change coaching style, they would probably play more of the younger players. Morgan Rielly’s confidence has improved and jumps into the play without hesitation now.
10:30: James Mirtle, Globe and Mail, Live at the ACC
David Clarkson could have a bounce-back season. He got lots of power play minutes in New Jersey and played in system that was conducive to his play. He thinks that the Leafs were almost looking for an energy, gritty guy on the team, but Clarkson isn’t that guy. 50 goals and 100 points should be attainable for an excellent player every year. Nazem Kadri is the most likely piece of the core to get moved. To be successful like Detroit, the Leafs would have to remake the entire culture in the organization.
11:00: Joe Haggerty, CSNNE.com
Claude Julien is one of the best coaches in the league. The Bruins are deeper without Tyler Seguin because they rebuilt their right side upfront. It helped to give them three lines that can score and they will be hard to handle in the playoffs. Dougie Hamilton has improved his game as he doesn’t take dangerous chances. He has been mentored very well by Zdeno Chara.
11:30: Gregor Chisholm, MLB.com
Bautista’s comments about it being nice to see a pitcher and catcher getting along was a little bit of a shot at Arencibia. There was some concern about Buehrle’s pitch count and the Jays wanted to make sure he was good. Morrow didn’t have a good spring training. He is needed to have a good season for the Jays to make a push at the playoffs. Brett Lawrie is one of the best defenders in baseball, but does not get the credit for it.
April 2: Show In Review
Bob and Matt are joined by Jeff O'Neill to chat about the Leafs finally ending their losing streak and whether Randy Carlyle is the proper coach for the team, and Scott MacArthur checks in to break down the impressive season debut of Drew Hutchison.
April 1: Show In Review
Live from the ACC, Bob and Matt tee up Leafs/Flames and chat about Ron Wilson’s comments about how Toronto is a tough place to play with Jonas Siegel and Steve Dangle and discuss the disastrous Opening Day for RA Dickey and Jose Reyes with Scott Ferguson and Gabe Kapler.
9:15 - Steve Dangle, Leafs Blogger
The Leafs have struggled as of late, but going forward, Steve Dangle feels that the core of this Leafs team is pretty good but they haven't built a good group around them. When the top line or Dion Phaneuf struggle, it accentuates the entire team's struggles. He's not confident in the team's management, he feels that they need to stop feeding media and public the idea of that it's where the Leafs expected to end up. Dangle is furious with management for that, since the expectation in Toronto should be to win the Stanley Cup, year in year out.
9:45 - Tom Haberstroh, ESPN
The Toronto Raptors have impressed Tom Haberstroh this year. He feels that they can pull off an impressive playoff push, especially with contenders in the East, such as Indiana, struggling a bit as of late. While the Raptors have impressed Canada, they still haven't garnered any real respect from the United States. To do so, they'll need to win a round or two to get that national attention. For that success to come to fruition, the Raptors, according to Haberstroh, need Kyle Lowry to be 100% healthy and will need him to play some next level basketball in the playoffs. Amir Johnson has also become a favourite for Haberstroh, who he feels can be a big difference maker defensively in the playoffs.
10:00 - Scott Ferguson, TSN 1050 MLB Analyst
R.A. Dickey had an awful performance yesterday, something that surprised Scott Ferguson since he had such a successful Spring Training. The Knuckleball could be unpredictable so he's guessing it'll improve throughout the season by just closing out guys better. Fergie also worries about the hamstring of Jose Reyes, as his current injury is one that can linger, especially playing so much on artificial turf. He's also positive that the team won't panic by signing a guy like Stephen Drew.
10:15 - Jonas Siegel, TSN 1050 Leafs Reporter (live at ACC)
Ron Wilson once walked to a restaurant with his family and was getting heckled by fans while the Leafs struggled. Siegel points that out to accentuate the mental anguish that is coaching in a market like Toronto. It's impossible to escape scrutiny here and Wilson had trouble with that in the end. He also talks about what it takes to build a great hockey team, explaining that development is imperative, something that San Jose and Detroit have done perfectly - and Toronto has not.
10:30 - Michael Landsberg, Host of OTR
The Toronto Maple Leafs needed to win a game or two this past weekend, they did not accomplish that. That has caused Michael Landsberg and several other to believe that the season is over. It's hard to imagine that this team could use a quick fix, and that'll likely happen starting with the head coach. The Leafs in his eyes are an average hockey team at best, so Landsberg isn't surprised by where they stand.
11:30 - Gabe Kapler, Former MLB Outfielder & Fox Sports 1
Injuries have plagued Jose Reyes since he became a Toronto Blue Jay, Gabe Kapler explains how him overworking himself is the main reason for his struggles. While playing on Astroturf is tough for many, that's not why Reyes gets hurt as much as he does. There's many things that can help a player stay healthy throughout the year, and most follow certain nutritional protocols, but once injuries enter the equation, Kapler explains, that taking care of one's body is of the utmost importance for every athlete.
March 31: Show In Review
Bob and Matt chat about how the Leafs season is slipping away and who’s to blame with James Mirtle, James Duthie and John Ferguson Jr., discuss the keys to the Blue Jays season with Gregor Chisholm, and are joined by Alvin Williams to talk about how the Raptors are following Kyle Lowry’s lead into the post-season.
James Mirtle, Globe and Mail:
We’ve seen coaching changes really improve puck possession, and we saw that in Anaheim with Bruce Boudreau. The coach can have a key impact in that area. Have a hard time a new coach couldn’t come in and make a significant improvement in that area. There are a lot of good pieces on this team, between Bernier, Kessel, but what they need is some depth and some development.
Gregor Chisholm, MLB.com
Dioner Navarro could be DHing a little bit against left-handed pitchers this year, and if there is one spot this team can get away with is an injury to Casey Janssen, as they have a lot of depth in the bullpen. Santos is a capable closer, and Delabar and Cecil slide up in the pecking order. Hutchison needs to be one of those consistent guys who can eat up innings, and he has all the makeup and capability to do just that.
James Duthie, NHL on TSN
When it happens this year, there’s no other option but to contemplate a coaching change. When teams are slumping, playoff contenders find a way to luck into some cheap points, but this team has done nothing of the sort. You have to change the coach and make a few roster changes too. This team might be stuck in a rut, as it’s hard to see who they can move for value, assuming they want to keep JVR and Kessel and Rielly in the fold.
Alvin Williams, Longtime Toronto Raptors Guard, Former Director of Player Development
Kyle Lowry is taking on a leadership role, and the other players on the team really like him. All of the Raptors play for one another, and the roles are defined on the team. A lot of times when you begin to have success, you forget about what it took to get there. Remembering the struggles, and what it took day to day, is the biggest challenge.
John Ferguson Jr, Former GM of the Maple Leafs, Current Director of Pro Scouting for the San Jose Sharks
The pressure on Jason Blake became almost too much for him to bare in the city of Toronto, and privately, he struggled with it. With David Clarkson, it’s hard to judge him right now because this is the 1st year of a 7-year deal. It’s much too soon to evaluate him in spite of his lack of production this year. There is some sense that a GM who doesn’t hire his own coach can use that “one bullet in the chamber”, and that’s what happened with Burke + Ron Wilson.
Macko and Cauz: March 24-28
Macko and Cauz: March 17-21
Macko and Cauz: March 10-14