April 4: Show In Review

The Canadian Press

Mike and Dave Bastl chat with Pierre McGuire, Darren Dreger and Jeff O”Neill about the Leafs OT win versus the Bruins last night, and Scott MacArthur, Scott Ferguson and Dan Shulman check in to tee up the Blue Jays home opener against Masahiro Tanaka and the Yankees.

Audio:

Hour 1:

Mike and Dave do Bastl's bites and are joined by ESPN's Dan Shulman to talk March Madness Hour 1 Audio

Hour 2:

Mike and Dave are joined by joined by Pierre McGuire and Darren Dreger. Hour 2 Audio

Hour 3:

Mike and Dave are joined by Scott MacArthur and Scott Ferguson as well as Jeff O'Neill. Hour 3 Audio


Recap:

6:30 – Dan Shulman – Voice of the MLB and NCAA Basketball on ESPN

Dan checks in on his way to Arlington for the NCAA Final Four, and also touches on the Jays start to the year. There are more pros on Kentucky than maybe all of the other three teams put together, but Wisconsin has also done a very good program this year and have a much bigger team than in years past. John Calipari’s legacy is that he puts kids into the NBA, and that’s what makes Kentucky such a hot spot for upcoming stars. Florida is still the favourite heading into the Final Four, they’re as good a defensive team as there is in the country, and they still have four seniors on the floor and a coach heading to the Hall of Fame. In the MLB, the Blue Jays get Masahiro Tanaka tonight, and the word around the league is that Tanaka should be able to have success right away at the Major League level. Clayton Kershaw being out is a huge loss for the Dodgers – you’re talking about the best pitcher on the planet.

7:15 – Pierre McGuire – NHL on NBC Analyst

The Leafs finally showed a sense of urgency that had been missing for so long last night, and while it was a huge win for them, it is overshadowed by the Blue Jackets also winning, and that Boston was resting some its players. While it is good to see James Reimer bounce back, he and the team need to get ready for Winnipeg tomorrow night. As for the other action, the Chicago Blackhawks played a stellar game last night on all ends, especially Corey Crawford who looks to be getting into a zone as the postseason approaches. Pierre has been impressed by the intensity level still being shown by teams eliminated from the playoffs - most notably the Flames and Sabres – the only team that seems to have checked into full-tank mode is the Panthers.

7:45 – Darren Dreger – TSN Hockey Insider

The Leafs had been missing that desperation and intensity over this rough stretch, and it contributed to a playoff-like atmosphere at the ACC last night. For Dion Phaneuf and Cody Franson, mistakes always seem to find their way to the back of the net, and the play of both has been subject to a lot of scrutiny this year. Randy Carlyle has been rewarding younger up and coming players for solid play, while a player like Nazem Kadri has seen his minutes drop, and Carlyle has been trying to evaluate players on a night-to-night basis. It would be a good guess to assume Dave Bolland will be testing the Free Agent waters – he is no different than any other attractive talent free agent talent, and someone will step up and pay him what he’s looking for.

8:15 – TSN 1050’s Scott MacArthur & Scott Ferguson

It’s too early to make any assumptions about Brandon Morrow’s outing – it was mainly the rough 3rd inning that contributed to his subpar night instead of the Rays hitting him all over. Morrow’s performance is definitely disappointing, but based on what we saw from him last year it’s far too early to hit the panic button on him already. The Jays defense has dazzled early on, which is a nice surprise for Jays fans who have had to sit through years of bad defensive play, and Brett Lawrie is looking like the best defensive 3rd basemen in baseball early on. Dustin McGowan being back in the rotation is a big surprise considering his history and how well he pitched out of the bullpen last year – but it’s a testament to the determination on McGowan’s part as well as the commitment of the Blue Jays to not give up on him by now.

8:30 – Jeff O’Neill – Leafs Lunch

The Leafs showed desperation and urgency last night, but that was nowhere to be found throughout the 8-game losing streak, and a lot of their issues have to do with the defensive zone coverage, which has been the Achilles heel all season long. Ranger pushing a Bruin into Bernier is incomprehensible – there was no where else for Bergeron to fall except directly on Bernier, and it’s disappointing for Ranger who had strung together a few strong games recently. It was nice to see James Reimer get an ovation when he was brought in to replace Bernier, and no matter how Reimer has played this year, he battles through adversity over and over.





April 3: Show In Review

The Canadian Press

Mike and Dave Bastl chat about how the Bruins will be a determined bunch following their loss to the Red Wings last night as they get set to take on the Leafs at the ACC on TSN 1050 with Pierre McGuire, Darren Dreger and Steve Simmons, and Alex Anthopoulos checks in to discuss how the Jays are welcoming the opportunity to prove the doubters wrong.

Audio:

Hour 1:

Mike and Dave do Bastl's bites and are joined by Josh Lewenberg. Hour 1 Audio

Hour 2:

Mike and Dave are joined by Pierre McGuire, Darren Dreger and Steve Simmons. Hour 2 Audio

Hour 3:

Mike and Dave are joined by Cam Neely and Alex Anthopoulos. Hour 3 Audio


Recap:

6:45 – Josh Lewenberg – TSN 1050 Raptors Reporter

Last night’s win over Houston was not a game the Raptors were supposed to win without Kyle Lowry and Amir Johnson in the lineup, but they found a way. The Raptors mentality has been one of resilience all season, and DeMar DeRozan was huge in beating a very good Rockets team. Put in a tough position with Patrick Patterson’s return after Amir Johnson went down Wednesday, Dwane Casey has played Patterson in some big minutes off the bench even while he’s still shaking off some of the rust. With their upcoming schedule, there is a very real chance the Raptors can eclipse the franchise record of 47 wins with seven games still remaining.

7:15 – Pierre McGuire – NHL on NBC Analyst

Gustav Nyquist has a magical night last night, and his game-winning goal last night is one of those moments Red Wings fans will remember for a long time. The Eastern playoff race is going to be interesting to watch over the remaining games - Detroit is so crushed by injuries right now, but Mike Babcock is coaching as well as any coach in the league and as well as he’s ever coached over the course of his career – while Columbus will make it interesting if they lose a few consecutive games. The Bruins are angry over their loss to Columbus last night and won’t be an easy challenge for the Leafs tonight – despite the fact that they’ve clinched the Atlantic division – which just shows you the mentality of a team like that.

7:45 – Leafs Breakfast with TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger & Sun Media’s Steve Simmons

Darren says the Leafs will need a full effort tonight against a Bruins team who won’t be taking them lightly – the Bruins are in a President’s Trophy race right now and want to win just as much as the Leafs do. Steve talks about the daunting task facing the Leafs in the final five games of the regular season, and the fact that because of the tiebreaker and the Leafs lack of regulation wins, Columbus would only need to tie Toronto at season’s end to beat them into the playoffs. Steve looks at the job Carlyle has done this year and the lack of structure in Toronto’s gameplan – we’ve waited all year for the template Carlyle talked about – physical, hard on the forecheck, etc. but we just haven’t seen that from this group of personnel.

8:30 – Cam Neely – President, Boston Bruins

The Bruins persona has reflected the city and the people of Boston for many years, and although it may have gotten away from that for a short time, the current roster seems to be capturing the spirit of it again. This Bruins team is the best roster Cam has seen since he joined the organization, and he credits the amount of depth the team has – certain lines have stepped up when others had a night off and that’s a main reason why the Bruins have been so dominant this season. Claude Julien’s main quality as a coach is his communication – there is no grey area – players know exactly what he wants them to do and he’ll let them know if he isn’t happy with them. Neely also talks about how long Julien has coached the same core group of players, and the adjustments he’s made to continue to communicate without having players tune him out.

8:45 – Alex Anthopoulos – Toronto Blue Jays General Manager

It’s far too early to evaluate the Jays success thus far, but the defense and pitching is looking much improved early on despite RA Dickey’s tough start on Opening Day. The lack of hype surrounding the team coming into the season was actually nice for the team; they were able to go through Spring Training without all the attention, and without being told how great they are at every opportunity. The rotation is absolutely talented enough to compete this year, the question is whether or not they can all stay healthy and consistent long enough to provide the starting pitching the Jays need. The decision to play Jose Reyes in Montreal was made after Reyes pronounced himself good to go and participated in drills – he aggravated an injury received on grass in Spring Training, so Olympic Stadium shouldn’t be blamed for Reyes’ injury. Adam Lind has the potential to have another strong year, and the potential to do even more – he was streaky last year, tearing the cover off the ball at certain points, and he’ll be a big factor against.





April 2: Show In Review

The Canadian Press

Mike and Dave Bastl recap the Leafs win over the Flames, and chat with Jonas Siegel, Darren Dreger and Pierre McGuire about what the team’s keys are down the stretch if they want to reclaim a playoff spot.

Audio:

Hour 1:

Hour 1 of Mike Richards In The Morning with Mike & Dave Bastl. Hour 1 Audio

Hour 2:

Hour 2 of Mike Richards In The Morning with Mike & Dave Bastl. Hour 2 Audio

Hour 3:

Hour 3 of Mike Richards in the Morning with Mike & Dave Bastl. Hour 3 Audio


Recap:

6:45 – Jonas Siegel – TSN 1050 Leafs Reporter

The win last night over Calgary at least keeps the Leafs hoping for one more game, and despite their chances still being very slim, they needed to take that first step by beating the Flames. David Clarkson’s goal was a big moment for both himself and the team, and last night he could at least come back to the bench and feel as if he contributed. Clarkson’s drought was frustrating enough that he was trying almost anything to get involved, which can sometimes result in a negative impact or trying to do too much. Phil Kessel is still searching for his first 40 goal season, and he’s been getting frustrated trying to deal with his recent injury trouble. Carlyle will likely stick with seven defensemen tomorrow night, it gives him the ability to use Nikolai Kulemin sporadically in a fourth line role and allows Carlyle to utilize Paul Ranger as a seventh defenseman.

7:15 – Pierre McGuire – NHL on NBC Analyst

Clarkson, Bolland, and McClement scoring last night was a big boost for the Leafs, especially because all three are big parts of the Leafs dressing room and leadership group. Mike Babcock is having a blast working with the young Red Wings players who have stepped into the lineup, and Detroit are beginning to get some NHL-caliber bodies back which makes them a very dangerous team if they can make the playoffs. The Capitals are a much better team under Adam Oates, but with the personnel on defense it doesn’t make a difference who is in net for them – they have more than enough size and skill, they need to upgrade the back end.

7:30 – Leafs Breakfast with TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger

Dion Phaneuf’s play has changed significantly since he came into the league as a thoroughbred and he had to be coached into not taking as many chances – but with him simplifying his game, he tends to be less effective if he isn’t playing on the edge. It will be far from easy for the Leafs to sneak back into the playoffs, but it won’t happen unless the entire team is engaged, rather than a select few at different times. Jay McClement is a specialist type of forward, and for whatever reason Randy Carlyle has less trust in him right now, but McClement might argue that his production hasn’t been high because he’s being used in a defensive role with sub-par line mates. Nikolai Kulemin is an effective player, but with free agency approaching and the likelihood he’ll be asking for a raise which the Leafs can’t afford, they need to embrace younger players like Carter Ashton and Peter Holland instead.

8:00 – Mark Messier – 6X Stanley Cup Champion, Member of the Hockey Hall of Fame

Mark is promoting his new commercial for Can Am Spyder motorcycles, and discusses making the commercial based on his famous ‘guarantee’. Despite the Leafs’ struggles, Mark experienced an 11-game losing streak in Edmonton and describes the frustration of going through something like that as a hockey player, but the NHL has so much parity now that so many different things need to go right for a team to even get into the playoffs. Hockey has changed a bit over recent years – we seem to be catering to a small percentage of kids who can potentially go professional, while ignoring the other 98% of kids who might not want to play at that level but still want to participate and learn from the game.

8:15 – 8:45 – Mark Zecchino – Golf Talk Canada (In-Studio)

Big announcement that Golf Talk Canada will be moving to television Sundays on TSN – sponsored by Acura. A lot of players are looking at this week’s Shell Houston Open as a warm up for the Masters, and despite some golfers skipping this event, others like Phil Mickelson like to play the week heading into the Masters. The PGA is so deep now that almost any player in the field during a given week has an opportunity to win, compared to the 90s and 2000s, let alone in the years before that. Mark also discusses smack talk in golf, where everything becomes a soap opera in the day of social media as we saw with Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia last year. Anthony Kim had a lot of hype when he came up and he wasn’t shy about it, but his discipline off the golf course have troubled him, unlike a player like Jordan Spieth who has done just about everything right at just 20 years old. It’s been a bad year for favourites on Sunday this year, and don’t be surprised to see a first-time winner like Graham De Laet, whose game is built around tough golf courses.





April 1: Show In Review

The Canadian Press

Mike and Dave Bastl chat with Darren Dreger, Steve Simmons, Pierre McGuire and Mike Johnson to tee up tonight’s Leafs/Flames game and discuss how Toronto is playing nervous, and Scott MacArthur checks in to break down a tough Opening Day for the Blue Jays.

Audio:

Hour 1:

Hour 1 of Mike Richards In The Morning with Mike & Dave Bastl. Hour 1 Audio

Hour 2:

Hour 2 of Mike Richards In The Morning with Mike & Dave Bastl. Hour 2 Audio

Hour 3:

Hour 3 of Mike Richards in the Morning with Mike & Dave Bastl. Hour 3 Audio


Recap:

6:30 – Jack Armstrong – NBA / March Madness Analyst

There aren’t many players on the planet that can be as dangerous as LeBron James in a game like last night’s Raptors-Heat matchup. LeBron will need to look at the Heat roster and realize the team can’t be improved that easily, and factor that into his decision of whether or not to re-sign with the Heat once his contract is up. Patrick Patterson and Greivis Vasquez have given the Raptors great value off the bench, and getting Patterson back to 100% is critical for the team heading into the playoffs because of the rebounding and perimeter defense he provides. Andrew Wiggins made the right decision for himself under the current system – he has a lot of money waiting for him in the NBA and the opportunity to be a Top 3 pick, and the pro game might be a bit better suited to his talents.

7:15 – Pierre McGuire – NHL on NBC Analyst

Jacques Lemaire was one of the best coaches in regards to defensive play and cutting down opponents’ space in the defensive zone, and that’s what Randy Carlyle has been trying to do with the Leafs at practice. Mike Cammalleri and Sean Monahan have been exceptional for the Flames this season, and while some of the players are playing for jobs right now, one of the most underrated coaches this season has been Bob Hartley. Some of Vancouver’s issues this season are due to inheriting a new head coach and system, but management have to be asking how so many of their players had such a bad year all at the same time under John Tortorella.

7:45 – Leafs Breakfast: TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger & Sun Media’s Steve Simmons

Darren says the Flames players know that some of them are playing for jobs, and they’ve managed to play well throughout the stretch as a team. The Leafs need a good effort tonight to try and change the fortunes of this team in some small way to get over the most recent stretch. Steve said Randy Carlyle’s status won’t be determined tonight, Nonis is going to take a long look at the situation before making any decision. Darren says the breaking point for Carlyle’s return is being able to convince Nonis that he’s willing to give opportunities to younger players like Carter Ashton or Peter Holland. The Leafs need to take a long look at David Bolland, and whether or not he can be a top-2 centre for them over the course of an entire season will decide on whether or not to re-sign him.

8:15 – Scott MacArthur – TSN Blue Jays Reporter

The Blue Jays found out last year how big of a void Jose Reyes leaves in the roster when he was out of the lineup. The Jays starting rotation do have a belief in themselves, but pro athletes will generally talk themselves into believe whatever they have to believe to succeed. Drew Hutchinson isn’t the type of person to succumb to any pressure on him – he believes he’s good enough and exudes zero arrogance when he speaks. Like the injury to Casey Janssen, Jose Reyes is being put on the 15-Day DL to try and tackle the problem early in the season and avoid having it spring up again, but there have to be questions about why Reyes was even in the game yesterday if he wasn’t 100% - the time he missed last season might be making him try to push through injuries to avoid missing more games this year.

8:45 – Mike Johnson – TSN Hockey Analyst

It’s an uptight feeling around the Toronto dressing room right now, and the pressure has to be wearing on some of the players even outside the rink. The issue with the Leafs isn’t a small tweak, and the current struggles are reflective of a far greater problem – starting with the personnel on the current roster and the system they’re being coached to play. One issue with the Leafs defense core is that almost all of them are playing a bit over their skill set in regards to how they’re slotted – Tim Gleason is a Top 6 defenseman on the Maple Leafs, but he isn’t a great skater anymore and he wouldn’t be getting 18 minutes a night on a good team. The Stars and Coyotes are fighting for the final Wild Card spot in the West, and it might come down to the final game of the regular season when the two teams play each other.





March 31: Show In Review

The Canadian Press

Mike and Dave Bastl are joined by Darren Dreger and Pierre McGuire to recap the Leafs’ disappointing weekend and chat about the changes that may lie ahead, Dirk Hayhurst checks in to talk about why he thinks the Blue Jays will struggle to compete in the AL East, and Bob Weeks calls in to chat about Graham DeLaet’s preparation for The Masters.

Audio:

Hour 1:

Hour 1 of Mike Richards In The Morning with Mike & Dave Bastl. Hour 1 Audio

Hour 2:

Hour 2 of Mike Richards In The Morning with Mike & Dave Bastl. Hour 2 Audio

Hour 3:

Hour 3 of Mike Richards in the Morning with Mike & Dave Bastl. Hour 3 Audio


Recap:

7:15 – Pierre McGuire – NHL on NBC Analyst

The Maple Leafs have to be honest about evaluating how good their team is, and whether or not they need to make a coaching change. There is a chain of command that is never broken in Detroit, and it’s been in place for the past 20 years which has contributed to how successful the organization has been. Brooks Orpik’s hit on Jonathan Toews wasn’t a dirty hit, and Toews needs to be prepared for that when a player like Orpik is on the ice. The Dallas Stars have done a really nice job with Lindy Ruff behind the bench, and it’s clear now to Sabres fans that Lindy wasn’t the issue in Buffalo.

7:45 – Leafs Breakfast with TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger

Tim Leiweke is a man who demands results, and while Dave Nonis hasn’t made a habit of losing under him yet, Leiweke is a cutthroat executive and a passionate sports fan who won’t tolerate losing. Darren talked about possible solutions to the Leafs continued collapse down the stretch. He touched on Tim Leiweke and his work re-branding the Leafs, something he didn’t need to do due to their history. There is no certainty that Randy Carlyle will be let go, although there is a strong chance because realistically, they have no choice. Leiweke needs to decide if he wants to clean house, or if Dave Nonis can be the GM going heading into this offseason. Leiweke is well-respected around the league and seen around as a cut throat executive. With what he has done with TFC and the Raptors, its clear he has a winning mentality and expects nothing less for the Leafs.

8:00 – Dirk Hayhurst – Blue Jays Analyst

Dirk talked about the Jays expectations being much lower for this season, and how this is a good thing, because it was impossible for the team to live up to all the hype prior to 2013. There are a lot of question marks in the rotation with Buehrle continuing to age, Drew Hutchison coming back from Tommy John surgery, and Dustin McGowan having barely pitched the past few seasons. His prediction for the AL East is for the Rays to win it with their pitching, and the Red Sox and Orioles fighting it out for number 2/3, while the Yankees and Jays will fight for the final spots. Likes John Gibbons as a player’s manager because he isn’t the kind of guy to boss his players around, lets the veterans do their job and mentor younger players.

8:30 – Bob Weeks – Score Golf

It’s one of those times prior to the Masters where some golfers like to play and others would rather take time off, which results in players like Steven Bowditch winning the Valero Texas Open. Graham DeLaet will be at the Houston Open this weekend and will try to carry that momentum into the Masters with him, and it serves as a good trial run before getting to Augusta next week at the Masters.



Mike Richards In The Morning, March 24-28

Mike Richards In The Morning, March 17-21

Mike Richards In The Morning, March 10-14



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