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March 21: Show In Review

The Canadian Press

Mike and Dave Bastl discuss how Randy Carlyle continues to struggle to get the Leafs on the same page defensively with Darren Dreger and Steve Simmons and Jack Armstrong checks in the recap a wild day one of the NCAA tournament.

Audio:

Hour 1:

Mike and Dave Bastl go around the NHL and the NCAA March Madness and do Bastl's Bytes. Hour 1 Audio

Hour 2:

Mike and Dave Bastl were joined by Pierre McGuire, Jonah Keri, Steve Simmons and Darren Dreger. Hour 2 Audio

Hour 3:

Mike and Dave Bastl were joined by Jack Armstrong to discuss March Madness and Patrick Chan is in-studio. Hour 3 Audio


Recap:

7:15 Pierre McGuire – NHL on NBC Analyst

No one should be surprised by the evolution of Columbus Blue Jackets centre Ryan Johansen. Johnansen is rapidly blossoming into an elite level talent & seems to be finally living up to lofty expectations. The Edmonton Oilers find themselves in a difficult position & seem destined to be one of the worst teams in the NHL once again. Until the Oilers decide to address their most pressing need (defense) they will continue to flounder at the bottom of the standings. The Maple Leafs have a big match up vs. the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night. Toronto is entering the “gut check” portion of the season & the reality is that making the playoffs this season isn’t necessarily a guarantee. The Anaheim Ducks recent losing skid could be a result of being a little “burnt out.” Let’s not read to much into last night’s 3-2 loss vs. San Jose because they are missing one of their top defenseman (Cam Fowler) for the next 3-5 weeks with a knee injury. The Philadelphia Flyers were able to escape with a win last night vs. the Dallas Stars & appear to be peaking at the right time. The Flyers have some very good pieces in place (Giroux, B.Schenn, Simmonds, Couturier) if they can improve their defense/goaltending Philadelphia could become a contender in the near future. The Detroit Red Wings continue to remain competitive despite the absence of several key players this is a testament to the coaching prowess of Mike Babcock.

7:30 Jonah Keri – Author “Up, Up & Away”

Jonah Keri of Grantland.com & Baseball Tonight joined Mike Richards to discuss his new book “Up, Up & Away” which details the rise & fall of the now defunct Montreal Expos.



7:45 Leafs Breakfast: Darren Dreger & Steve Simmons

The Maple Leafs must improve their work in the defensive zone if they want to have any success as we approach the final stretch of the regular season. This area continues to be Toronto’s achilles heel & must be rectified by Randy Carlyle in order to “take the next step.” The biggest problem with the Maple Leafs is that they continue to rely far too much on goaltender Jonathan Bernier. If the Maple Leafs lose to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night their chances of making the playoffs will be in jeopardy.

8:20 Patrick Chan – Men's Canadian Figure Skater (in-studio)

Canadian figure skater Patrick Chan joined Mike Richards in-studio to discuss his experiences at Sochi & touch on the disappointment of his silver medal finish. Patrick also chatted about his future in figure skating & pointed out that has already begun preparations for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.


8:45 Jack Armstrong – NBA on TSN Analyst

“Guard play” has been one of the major storylines after the first day of March Madness. A lot of these games come down to “one play or two” which is what makes this tournament so magical. Louisville expected a tough match up vs. Manhattan therefore yesterday’s “minor scare” wasn’t that surprising. Wichita State is still a very good ball club that has the ability to do some damage despite what’s being perceived as a tough schedule. The Florida Gators didn’t look very good against Albany & must figure out a way to play better if they want to continue to advance in the tournament.





March 20: Show In Review

The Canadian Press

Mike and Dave Bastl discuss the Leafs loss last night to the Lightning and the injury to Paul Ranger with Pierre McGuire, Darren Dreger, Jonas Siegel and Jim Ralph, and Dan Shulman joins the guys to tee up the start of the NCAA tournament.

Audio:

Hour 1:

Mike and Dave Bastl rehash last night's Leafs-Lightning game with Jonas Siegel and another edition of Bastl's Bites. Hour 1 Audio

Hour 2:

Mike was joined by Pierre McGuire and Darren Dreger to recap the Leafs loss to the Lightning.. Hour 2 Audio

Hour 3:

Mike was joined by Dan Shulman and Jim Ralph to discuss NCAA Basketball and Leafs hockey. Hour 3 Audio


Recap:

6:30 Jonas Siegel – TSN 1050 Maple Leafs Reporter

It’s still too early to determine the latest on Paul Ranger’s status however he was conscious/alert in the hospital after the game. The Leafs had a hard time overcoming the “emotional paralyzation” of this type of event. At this point backup goaltender seems destined to ask for a trade once July 1st rolls around. Reimer has done a great job of “being a good teammate” & truly believes that he deserves a legitimate shot at being a number one goaltender. The Maple Leafs haven’t gotten very good goaltending & secondary scoring over the past few games therefore there is some reason for concern. Toronto has a great opportunity on Saturday night vs. the Montreal Canadiens & it will be interesting to see how they respond.

7:15 Pierre McGuire – NHL on NBC Analyst

The Chicago Blackhawks beat the St. Louis Blues 4-0 last night but lost sniper Patrick Kane for the next 2-4 weeks with a knee injury. The Chicago Blackhawks depth players should be commended for elevating their game last night in order to compensate for Kane’s absence. Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville earned his 700th win last night & now sits just eighty two wins behind Al Arbour for 2nd all time. The Toronto Maple Leafs allowed far too many “shoddy mistakes” against Steven Stamkos & now must figure out a way to pick up the pieces & move on. The Alex Killorn hit on Paul Ranger was not malicious & should be viewed as more of an “unfortunate turn of events.” These types of dangerous hits will continue to surface until the NHL implements Brian Burke’s “bear hug rule” which was proposed a few seasons ago. Toronto now finds themselves in a virtual “must-win” scenario Saturday night vs. the Montreal Canadiens.

7:45 Leafs Breakfast: Darren Dreger – NHL Insider

Last night’s episode with Paul Ranger was very scary however Alex Killorn didn’t seem to have any intent to injure. The fact of the matter is that Ranger put himself in a vulnerable position & the outcome was unfortunate. At this point if would appear that Brendan Shanahan & company will not hand down supplemental discipline on Killorn. It’s also becoming painfully obvious that James Reimer will not be a number one goalie in Toronto as long as Jonathan Bernier is healthy. The problem is that Reimer has never been a backup goalie at any point in his career & might have to request a trade in the offseason in order to find a starting gig in the league. Toronto must now figure out a way to rebound after three consecutive losses following a spirited win over the Los Angeles Kings. On the whole this has been a very good season for the Maple Leafs however Saturday’s game vs. Montreal has now become “just that much more important.”

8:00 Dan Shulman – ESPN Voice MLB & NCAA Basketball

Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan is one of the best coaches in the business & has managed to recruit players that are just below the “one & done” cutoff. Florida is a very good defensive team that plays an unselfish style & should be considered a legitimate candidate to win the NCAA Championship. Wichita State shouldn’t be considered a “fluke” because they did make the Final Four last year. The problem for Wichita State is that they could run into a difficult second round match up vs. Kentucky. Arizona is another very talented team with “plenty of name recognition” & have overcome the absence of top player Brandon Ashley beautifully. There will be plenty of upsets this year so fill out your brackets carefully!

8:45 Jim Ralph – TSN 1050 Maple Leaf Colour Commentator

The Maple Leafs were probably due for “a little bit of an emotional letdown after the Olympics however this three game skid is coming at the most inopportune time. James Reimer has gone from hero to goat in the span of just over a week. The biggest problem with the Maple Leafs is that the team doesn’t seem to score when Reimer is in the net. We shouldn’t expect Alex Killorn to get any discipline from last night’s hit on defenseman Paul Ranger.





March 19: Show In Review

The Canadian Press

Mike and Dave Bastl discuss the Randy Carlyle-James Reimer situation and the Leafs loss last night to the Red Wings with Darren Dreger, Steve Simmons and Pierre McGuire, and Scott MacArthur checks in to debate the Blue Jays’ rotation options after disappointing outings by Ricky Romero and Marcus Stroman.

Audio:

Hour 1:

Mike and Dave go around the NHL, do Bastl's Bytes, and talk baseball with Scott MacArthur. Hour 1 Audio

Hour 2:

Mike and Dave were joined by Pierre McGuire and Darren Dreger, were joined in-studio by the Argo's cheerleaders and make NCAA Final Four Picks. Hour 2 Audio

Hour 3:

Mike and Dave were joined by Adam Burns of Bodog Canada and Steve Simmons. Hour 3 Audio


Recap:

6:30 Scott MacArthur - TSN 1050 Blue Jays Reporter

The Blue Jays are pretty much reaching a “desperation point” when it comes to pitcher Ricky Romero. Romero played pretty well during the early portions of training camp until yesterday’s collapse vs. the Detroit Tigers. At this point it seems that J.A. Happ would occupy the fourth spot in the pitching rotation. Another situation worth keeping an eye on is Casey Janssen’s ongoing shoulder troubles. Aaron Sanchez & Marcus Stroman are two highly touted prospects that should provide plenty of optimism for Blue Jays fans moving forward.

7:15 Pierre McGuire – NHL on NBC Analyst

Goaltenders Roberto Luongo & Anton Khudobin had stellar performance’s last night against their respective opponents. Other trade deadline acquisitions that have paid dividends are the acquisitions of Matt Moulson & Thomas Vanek. Carlyle’s post game comments last night regarding James Reimer was probably the byproduct of some frustration that had boiled over during their loss vs. Detroit. The Philadelphia Flyers are peaking at the right time & head coach Craig Berube is finally getting consistent secondary scoring from Wayne Simmonds & Vincent Lecavalier.

7:45 Leafs Breakfast: Darren Dreger – NHL Insider

The Randy Carlyle vs. James Reimer post game comments have provided great “water-cooler talk” after last night’s loss vs. the Detroit Red Wings. Sniper Phil Kessel has gotten into an offensive funk & the ever elusive “secondary scoring” appears to have dried up once again. Marquee off-season acquisition David Clarkson is a “fierce competitor” however he has struggled to find his role with the Maple Leafs in the lineup. At this point it would seem that backup goaltender Drew McIntyre might get the start on Sunday evening vs. the New Jersey Devils or perhaps tonight vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning? For some reason James Reimer remains a lightning rod for criticism in the city of Toronto…

8:00 Steve Simmons – Sun Media & The Reporters

Last night’s discussion between Randy Carlyle & James Reimer were definitely “interesting.” Perhaps Carlyle was trying to light a fire under Reimer & his comments could have reflected the Maple Leafs team as a whole. Losses vs. Washington/Detroit have turned a very good road trip into a “less than average road trip.” The most disturbing part is that Toronto seems to “play down to their opponents’ level of play.” If Toronto goes into a tailspin the playoffs might not necessarily be a guarantee. Yesterday’s poor outing vs. the Detroit Tigers doesn’t bode well for pitcher Ricky Romero however the Blue Jays will probably keep him around until his contract expires. If even one major league scout believed that Ricky Romero could still pitch “he would’ve already signed on with another team.” Other pitchers who remain wildcards this upcoming season include pitchers Brandon Morrow & Drew Hutchison.

8:15 Adam Burns Bodog.ca Sportsbook Manager – March Madness Prop Bets

Bodog.ca Sportsbook manager Adam Burns joined Mike & Dave to discuss a variety of NCAA March Madness prop bets that are available over the next few weeks.







March 18: Show In Review

The Canadian Press

Mike and Dave Bastl are joined by Pierre McGuire, Darren Dreger and Pierre McGuire to tee up Leafs/Red Wings and discuss the opportunity James Reimer has to step up in the absence of Jonathan Bernier.

Audio:

Hour 1:

Mike and Dave do Bastl's Bytes, preview Leafs/Wings and discuss the Irsay incident. Hour 1 Audio

Hour 2:

Mike and Dave were joined by Pierre McGuire and Darren Dreger and discuss Patrick Roy's return to Montreal. Hour 2 Audio

Hour 3:

Mike and Dave were joined by Charles Hamelin, Mike Johnson, and Professor Tim Chartier. Hour 3 Audio


Recap:

7:15 Pierre McGuire – NHL on NBC Analyst

Jarome Iginla has been a big part of the Boston Bruins nine game win streak. Iginla seems to have resurrected his passion for the game & is having “one of the most fun seasons of his career.” Iginla can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st & has developed some nice chemistry with line mate Milan Lucic. Goaltender Tuukka Rask has impeccable work habits & always “strives to be the best.” These two players have been a large part of the Bruins success this season. The Detroit Red Wings must find a way to overcome their lack of depth at centre & must figure out a way to contain sniper Phil Kessel. The Maple Leafs should expect a tight-checking physical game tonight vs. a Detroit team that is desperate to get back into the playoff race.

7:45 Leafs Breakfast: Darren Dreger – NHL Insider

Toronto needs to capitalize on a wounded Detroit Red Wings team tonight that is definitely undergoing a period of transition. Head coach Mike Babcock is one of the best in the business & Detroit has several unrestricted free agents (Todd Bertuzzi, Daniel Cleary, Mikael Samuelsson, Daniel Alfredsson) come July 1st so there is potential for great overhaul during the offseason. The Maple Leafs have a lot of back to back games coming up therefore it will be interesting to see how head coach Randy Carlyle shares the workload between James Reimer & Drew McIntyre. Jonathan Bernier’s situation is believed to be “not serious.”

8:15 Charles Hamelin – Short Track Speedskater & 4 Time Olympic Medalist

Mr. Hamelin discussed his Sochi experience & touched on some of the daily rigors of being a short track speed skater. At this point the plan is to prepare for another medal at the 2018 winter Olympics in South Korea.



8:30 Mike Johnson – NHL on TSN Analyst & Winnipeg Jets Colour Commentator

Unless the Winnipeg runs the table & the Dallas Stars have a major collapse the Jets probably won’t make the playoffs. Winnipeg has great “fight” however there is simply too much ground to make up & not enough time. Paul Maurice has done a remarkable job with the Jets & should be retained during the offseason. Tonight’s game vs. the Red Wings will be a great test for backup goaltender James Reimer. The Maple Leafs decision to keep Reimer past the deadline as an insurance policy has already paid dividends. Reimer has already dealt with the pressure of being a number one goalie in Toronto & should be very comfortable playing in front of his teammates. The St. Louis Blues are one of the top teams in the NHL & should be considered a Stanley Cup favourite due to their “grind it out” style of play.

8:45 Professor Tim Chartier – Davidson College

Professor Tim Chatier discussed a mathematical formula he has developed in order to help people fill out a perfect bracket & claim Warren Buffet’s billion dollar prize.







March 17: Show In Review

The Canadian Press

Mike and Dave Bastl recap the Leafs loss to the Capitals with Darren Dreger and Pierre McGuire and discuss Jonathan Bernier’s status and Dave Bolland’s prolonged recovery.

Audio:

Hour 1:

Mike and Dave discuss the Werner Ladder NHL Power Rankings and do Bastl's Bytes. Hour 1 Audio

Hour 2:

Mike and Dave were joined by Pierre McGuire and Darren Dreger for hockey talk along with Ron James in-studio. Hour 2 Audio

Hour 3:

Mike and Dave were joined by Bob Weeks and discuss the current NHL playoff picture. Hour 3 Audio


Recap:

7:15 Pierre McGuire – NHL on NBC Analyst

Injuries played a big role in the Philadelphia Flyers home at home sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Phildelphia is a dangerous team right now & seem to have gotten a boost from spirited performances by Captain Claude Giroux & winger Wayne Simmonds. The Colorado Avalanche defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-1 yesterday but weren’t happy because goaltender Semyon Varlamov lost his shut out bid with just under ten seconds left in the third period. This type of “killer instinct” by the Avalanche helps illustrate the culture change in Colorado, & this team might have the horses to compete with the Chicago Blackhawks provided they can overcome the injuries to Paul Stastny & P.A. Parenteau. The Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t play particularly well in front of backup goaltender James Reimer much to the chagrin of Randy Carlyle & company. Eric Fehr, Joel Ward, & Jason Chimera did a great job of slowing down the Leafs top line as Toronto struggles to search for that elusive “secondary scoring.” Forward David Bolland appears to have regressed during his rehab which indicates that “something must have gone wrong.”

7:45 Leafs Breakfast: Darren Dreger – NHL Insider

The Maple Leafs haven’t revealed too much information regarding the “lower body injury” to starting goaltender Jonathan Bernier. Toronto management doesn’t appear to be too concerned at this stage of the season. The Bernier injury is another reason why most teams must have a reliable backup goaltender. Not much else is known on the David Bolland injury front. All indications appear that “Bolland is right there” however it’s impossible to determine exactly when he returns to the lineup.

8:30 Bob Weeks – Host Score Golf

The Canadians had a strong showing at the Valspar Championship over the weekend. Graham DeLaet & David Hearn both managed to crack the top ten & could be seeing a bigger payday on the horizon. The Masters are roughly twenty four days away however there are plenty of questions marks surrounding some of the “bigger name players” on the tour. Justin Rose appears to be still having problems with his shoulder & seems to be “still trying to shake off the rust.” Kevin Na seemed to have a personal battle with clock management which could’ve contributed to his downfall yesterday at Palm Harbor Florida.



Mike Richards In The Morning, March 10-14

Mike Richards In The Morning, March 4-7

Mike Richards In The Morning, February 24-28



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