6:30 Scott MacArthur – Blue Jays Reporter
• On Ricky Romero: feels he is primed for a bounce-back year, thrilled with the acquisitions during the off-season, & is comfortable with his place in the rotation
• The question mark for Romero this season: "how well will his knees hold up?"
• Romero has tendinitis in both knees, so time will tell how this affects the delivery/mechanics of his pitch
• On Josh Johnson: seems to be in form during the early stages of training camp & possesses a wide array of weapons (fastball, slider, curveball, cutter, etc…) remember Johnson is 29 years old & could earn a lucrative salary based on a strong performance during the 2013 season
• Jose Reyes on Josh Johnson: he has 2-4 legitimate options at his disposal, so "as a hitter, you never know what you never know what you're going to encounter"
7:15 Pierre McGuire – NHL on NBC Analyst
• On Toronto's win vs. Florida: good coaching, smart defensive play, Ben Scrivens did a great job of challenging the shooters & had excellent rebound control
• Only negative for the Leafs: they gave up 37 shots
• On Colton Orr: he understands his role, is reliable defensively, & "fights for his team, not for himself"
• Let's give some credit to former GM Brian Burke for "putting this thing together"
• On the Flyers 7-0 win vs. the Islanders: Islanders "just seem to mail it in" which is absolutely unacceptable at this level, hopefully they are better tonight in Ottawa
• On Nashville 6-5 loss vs. Colorado: Chris Mason struggled, Matt Duchene was exceptional for Colorado however, the refs really messed up by allowing Matt Duchene's off-side goal
• This is exactly why "there needs to be at least 1-2 coaches challenge per game"
• On Carolina vs. Montreal: Peter Budaj is a career backup as long as he stays in Montreal, but is still good enough to be in the league, this was an even game through 40 minutes, but Carolina really struggled without Tim Gleason, Joni Pitkanen, & Jeff Skinner
• On San Jose @ St. Louis: San Jose might have an advantage going into this game because the St. Louis had plane trouble after their game in Vancouver on Sunday night & isn't scheduled to arrive until later on this morning, then the Blues fly off to Colorado tomorrow, fatigue/lack of preparation could definitely play a factor in tonight's matchup
• On San Jose: forget the 7-0 start they really have to start scoring, "of all the elite teams, they have the least amount of foot speed"
7:30 Tim McGraw – Country Music Superstar
• Fun chat with country legend Tim McGraw
• Used to play every sport as a kid
• Initially went to school to become a lawyer
• Picked up a guitar in college "and never looked back"
• Very happy & pleased with this stage of his career
• Thoroughly enjoyed his experience as an actor in the movie "The Blind Side"
7:45 Leafs Breakfast: Darren Dreger & Jonas Siegel
• Dreger: the Leafs started off to a shaky start last night in Florida, but rose to the challenge & got the job done, Ben Scrivens has been brilliant in goal, let's see what happens tonight in Tampa Bay
• Siegel: Carlyle's message "don't get too overexcited" with the Leafs fast paced start, keep in mind "this team has only won ten games & is still a work in progress"
• Dreger: Phil Kessel has a quick release & is very accurate, but a lot of his shots are from the perimeter (hence the slow start to the season), however he has evolved into a more complete player under the guidance of Randy Carlyle
• Siegel: Randy Carlyle dictates his roster decisions based on who's playing well (see Mike Komisarek, John Michael Liles, being healthy scratches last night)
• Dreger: Mike Komisarek is a good guy but he is not the player the Leafs thought he would be when they signed him, Dave Nonis wants to do what's best, perhaps a move occurs a little closer to the April 3rd trade deadline
8:00 Steve Simmons – Sun Media & The Reporters
• On Leafs win last night: it's a good road win against a really bad hockey team
• This is a game that the Leafs would have lost last year
• Randy Carlyle has proved that he is an excellent coach & a difference maker
• Carlyle has given every player an equal opportunity to succeed (see Pat Burns first year in Toronto)
• Burns came in established a structure & got the most out of his team
• Best of all the 2013 Leafs are a pugnacious bunch
• Would Nazem Kadri have blossomed under the guidance of Ron Wilson?
• The Raptors probably can't play .700 basketball & make the playoffs, but they are 5-2 since the Rudy Gay trade & have 29 games left on the schedule
• The next 29 remaining games will tell you "what this team is made of"
• On Jerry Buss: he ran the best operation in every conceivable way "this guy said it, meant it, & delivered it"
• Jerry Buss is the greatest sports owner in North American history
8:15 Jack Armstrong – NBA on TSN
• Toronto can compete with anybody, the question is "how will this team respond when the pressure gets ramped up"
• Raptors are 6 games back with 29 games to play
• Raptors first have to focus on catching 9th seeded Philadelphia (currently 2 games back) & then "hope for some crazy things to happen"
• Next few weeks for the Raptors will be key
• Long term the Raptors have to focus on the development of Jonas Valanciunas & Terrence Ross
• On Terrence Ross: when they drafted him there were a lot of question marks, now those questions seemed to have subsided
• So far what we have seen is "a player who is just starting to scratch the surface"
• But the biggest question moving forward is "can Ross put all the tools together to become a more complete player?"
• Hopefully the experience from the All-Star game rubs off & gives Ross some increased confidence
• On Jerry Buss: he was a visionary/ahead of his time, helped establish/promote the "Laker brand", and was always committed to putting the best product on the court
• Mark Cuban has adopted this philosophy with the Dallas Mavericks
8:30 Dave Mishkin – Tampa Bay Lightning Radio Voice
• The Lightning always "come to play" even last year when they seemed to struggle at times (but still managed to win 25 games @ home)
• Biggest problem for the Lightning: they have been terrible on the road
• Thinks that both teams "will be ready to play tonight"
• The Lightning have never had problems scoring goals, but have really struggled defensively because "you can't score 4-5 goals every night"
• In some games the Lightning have had excellent defensive coverage, but are still searching for a sense of consistency & trying to limit turnovers
• On Guy Boucher: he is a great communicator/student of the game and feels that "players want to be talked to not talked at"
• Dave Andreychuk is having a blast in Tampa!