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April 17: Show In Review

The Canadian Press

Mike and Dave Bastl look back at a wild opening night of the NHL playoffs with Darren Dreger and Pierre McGuire, and Steve Simmons checks in to break down the Raptors’ first round series matchup with the Nets.

Audio:

Hour 1:

Hour 1 with Mike & Dave including Bastl's Bytes and a look around the NHL. Hour 1 Audio

Hour 2:

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

Hour 3:

Mike and Dave are joined by Steve Simmons and Tim Saunders. Hour 3 Audio


Recap:

7:15 Pierre McGuire – NHL on NBC Analyst

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Brandon Sutter really elevated his play over the last 10-15 games of the regular season therefore his game winning goal last night vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets wasn’t that much of a surprise. The return of Evgeni Malkin makes the Pens a very formidable opponent moving forward. Brandon Dubinksy’s eye popping move vs. Paul Martin was a thing of beauty & really seemed to quiet the home crowd. It will be very interesting to see if Dubinsky continues to draw the difficult assignment of shutting down Sidney Crosby. Dan Bylsma’s decision to insert Matt Niskanen into the powerplay paid instant dividends & played a major factor in Pittsburgh’s late surge. The Anaheim Ducks “quick strike offense” was simply too much for the Dallas Stars last night & the St. Louis Blues have a monumental game one tonight vs. the Chicago Blackhawks. Tonight’s game between the Philadelphia Flyers & New York Rangers will be incredibly physical/nasty & it will be interesting to see how the goaltending match up between Emery/Lundqvist plays out.

7:30 Leafs Breakfast: Darren Dreger – NHL Insider

Carey Price’s performance last night vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning was “ok” but the bottom line is that Montreal won the game. We should expect a very strong bounce back from Price in game two. Anders Lindback was “just ok” & made some good saves however when your team scores four goals you should be able to win the game. Ben Bishop is still not taking shots but has been skating over the past few days in an effort to limber up. Tampa Bay is not the same team without Bishop & Michel Therrien did a beautiful job of rolling four lines last night. Tonight’s Flyers vs. Rangers series has so many story lines which makes this an extremely compelling series. Are the Flyers the team that catches lightning in a bottle? The health of the St. Louis Blues remains questionable as the team had 6/9 forwards out of the lineup heading into the playoffs. If Ken Hitchcock can get this team “back in tune” we could see a different Blues team in round one.

8:15 Steve Simmons – Sun Media & The Reporters

The Raptors have struggled to get the “respect factor” ever since their inception in 1995. The Raptors have embraced that “us against the world mentality” which should make for a spirited series vs. the Brooklyn Nets. This series is a classic matchup of “young vs. established veterans.” Are the Nets a frightening team now or were they a frightening team five years ago? The Raptors have raised their ticket prices for the playoffs however the real number has been raised by secondary agents such as StubHub (up to a 300% increase) therefore the Raptors are taking a huge hit for something that they haven’t even done. R.A. Dickey has become the “three bears of pitching” when will he finally drop the excuses? It’s impossible to get disappointed by the Blue Jays because there were zero expectations coming into this season. San Jose vs. Los Angles & Chicago vs. St.Louis should be great series because you have two potential Stanley cup champions that will be eliminated in the first round. The Flyers/Rangers series features a team that has three scoring lines vs. a team that is very defensively responsible which should make for a great series.

8:45 Tim Saunders – Philadelphia Flyers Play-by-Play Voice

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ray Emery has proved to be a very capable backup & provided solid mentorship for Steve Mason. The funny thing is that Ray Emery actually has more playoff experience & has played some pretty strong teams after the Olympic break. If the Flyers can avoid a “run & gun” style of play and remain defensively responsible they should be in good shape. Is this the series where Giroux takes the next step & becomes a top three player in the league? Andrew MacDonald has done a very good job of settling down the defense & was a highly coveted player come trade deadline. MacDonald isn’t a flashy player but has really helped Luke Schenn rediscover his game.





April 16: Show In Review

The Canadian Press

Mike and Dave are joined by Darren Dreger to discuss whether Randy Carlyle’s time as the coach of the Maple Leafs is in peril, and Darren Dreger and Jack Edwards check in to tee up the start of the NHL playoffs.

Audio:

Hour 1:

Hour 1 with Mike & Dave including Bastl's Bytes and a look around the NHL and MLB. Hour 1 Audio

Hour 2:

Hour 2 with Mike & Dave including a chat with Gerry Cheevers and Leafs Breakfast with Darren Dreger. Hour 2 Audio

Hour 3:

In Hour 3, Jack Edwards & Cindy Klassen join Mike Richards & David Bastl. Hour 3 Audio


Recap:

7:15 Pierre McGuire – NHL on NBC Analyst

There are several intriguing first round match ups as three playoff series kick off tonight. The Tampa Bay Lightning “aren’t just about Steven Stamkos” they also have Ondrej Palat & Tyler Johnson. The latter two don’t have a lot of NHL playoff experience but do possess plenty of “big game experience” at the AHL level. It will also be interesting to see how Anders Lindback handles the pressure of being a starting goaltender because it wasn’t that long ago where he was considered an “up & coming prospect.” The Detroit Red Wings will definitely “push” the Boston Bruins because of players such as Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyqvist, & Riley Sheahan. All of these players won a championship together at Grand Rapids & won’t be “intimidated by the moment.” It’s also worth noting that Detroit head coach Mike Babcock is one of the most creative coaches in the league therefore this series will be much closer than people think. Let’s not make too much into the St. Louis Blues six game slide to end the season. The Blues should benefit from an extra days rest & does have the ability to “flip the switch” at a moments notice. The Chicago Blackhawks have some interesting decisions to make, do they reunite Kane/Toews? Only time will tell…. Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly should get a huge opportunity as he prepares for the upcoming World Championships in Minsk. This is a very good learning opportunity for young players & helps them “take their game to the next level.” The Philadelphia Flyers vs. New York Rangers series “has the potential to be very nasty.”

7:30 Gerry Cheevers – Former Boston Bruin & HOF Goaltender

The Boston Bruins are one of the few teams that truly are the complete package. The Bruins embody the typical “Boston strong mentality” that currently surrounds the city. The Bruins have a deep connection with the fan base & have always done a good job of representing the city. Having Don Cherry behind the bench was great because “you always knew something exciting was going to happen.” Boston Captain Zdeno Chara might be the most important player in the league (especially with the absence of Dennis Seidenberg) hopefully the Bruins are able to win another Stanley Cup this year!

7:45 Leafs Breakfast: Darren Dreger – NHL Analyst

Randy Carlyle was clearly embarrassed after this year’s epic collapse however he is still very highly regarded around NHL circles. Kirk Muller’s future in Carolina remains questionable & Paul Maurice is expected to re-sign with the Winnipeg Jets. The Maple Leafs do have some very good pieces (Rielly, Gardiner, Bernier) however the team has a lot of holes & lacks a true identity.

8:30 Jack Edwards – Boston Bruins PxP Voice on NESN

The Boston Bruins enter the post-season with a sense of “measured confidence.” This team knows that they have a very good chance to win the cup provided they can remain relatively healthy. The Bruins have done a very good job of “not falling in love with themselves” (see 2009 vs. Carolina) Claude Julien is a coach that simply doesn’t get enough credit however in order to win the Jack Adams award “you usually have to take a disaster & turn it around.” The first round series between Boston & Detroit should be an instant classic & kudos to Mike Babcock for keeping his team focused throughout a bevy of injuries. Jarome Iginla has had a “Mark Recchi like impact” on the Bruins & his day to day professionalism is second to none. There have been some question marks surrounding the health of Patrice Bergeron however all indications suggest that he will be ready to go on Friday morning.

8:45 Cindy Klassen – Long Track Speed Skater & Six Time Olympic Medalist

Cindy Klassen joined Mike Richards & David Bastl to discuss her recent induction into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame.







April 15: Show In Review

The Canadian Press

Dave and Dave Hodge are joined by Bob McKenzie to discuss why he thinks Randy Carlyle isn’t likely to return to the Leafs next season, and NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly drops by to discuss the replacement candidates for Brendan Shanahan, participation in the Olympics and the draft lottery.

Audio:

Hour 1:

Dave Naylor and co-host Dave Hodge are joined in studio by Dave Feschuk and chat about the Leafs' season, Randy Carlyle's future, and more. Hour 1 Audio

Hour 2:

Dave Naylor and Dave Hodge are joined by Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, Tim Graham of the Buffalo News, and Boston Marathon runner Jean Paul Bedard. Hour 2 Audio

Hour 3:

Dave Naylor and Dave Hodge are joined in studio by NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, and Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray. Hour 3 Audio


Recap:

5:02pm Bob McKenzie – TSN Hockey Insider

McKenzie began by talking about how the word on Randy Carlyle's future will be determined in about a week or two. On a scale of 1-to-10) on whether he would be surprised if Randy Carlyle is still with the Leafs next year, (with 10 being very surprised), he said it would be a 10. He thinks the Maple Leafs organization will go through the interview process and make a decision from there. He talked about how they have a revamped end of the Year Top 10 on the show that night. McKenzie then went on to discuss how the Islanders have a 8.1% chance of winning the lottery, which isn't a terrible percentage. On the St.Louis Blues are suffering from injuries right now and he thinks they're a confident group that should be able to get over the current losing streak if they're reasonably healthy. McKenzie confirms Henrik Zetterberg will not play in the first round series against the Bruins. If McKenzie had to bet hard earned cash on the series he would pick the Bruins, but thinks Detroit will give them a tough series. Boston has the depth, but is Detroit deep enough? McKenzie said the Red Wings will try to play a skilled game against the Bruins.

5:15pm Tim Graham – Buffalo News

Graham spoke with Donald Trump about the NFL and the Buffalo Bills. He said Mary Wilson and Jeffery Littmann want to sell quickly. He said most people thought there would be more time as the current lease of Ralph Wilson Stadium runs until 2019. While he thinks it is unlikely to be sold by October, Graham said the team will be sold within a year at the latest. Buffalo wants either Trump or a local buyer so the team will stay in Orchard Park. Jon Bon Jovi would want to move things to Toronto. Graham thinks some NFL owners could hold a grudge on Trump after the USFL lawsuit grudge, but some would respect his business skills. Graham thinks there's room for Trumps ego and things will get interesting if they do go that way. He said a Niagara Stadium being mentioned is a good plan but he personally thinks the downtown to Niagara Falls trip for fans would be a traffic nightmare. The will be a lot of transformation issues if that does happen.

5:32pm Jean Paul Bedard – Boston Marathon Runner (running Boston Marathon Twice in one day next week)

Bedard was a survivor of sexual abuse and ran the Boston Marathon last year. He said he went to Boston with his wife and was overwhelmed by with his emotions while running. He said he stopped into a medical tent to deal with his emotions, continued on running and finished the race. At the end of the marathon he said he embraced his wife and went back to the hotel. Just after he returned to his hotel the first bombing occurred. He said he dealt with a lot after he returned home, having his whole body shut down and taking a five month leave of absence because it was too much to deal with. Bedard said all he could do was run to ground himself. He had a process to deal with his sexual abuse he used to deal with the bombing. He has decided to return to run the marathon again as a way of bringing his mind back to a better place. He is using the marathon as a metaphor to rewind what happened last year in Boston. He sees Monday as being a very powerful event for all runners. He thinks everyone will help each other to get through the marathon and reclaim the marathon streets. He is running for Gatehouse Child Abuse Web site and he wants more support for men. He mentioned how he talks with Theo Fleury and how Fleury is an inspiration to him. Fleury helped him come out about his issues, and he wants everyone who has dealt with a similar circumstance to know they can rebuild their life.

6:00pm Bill Daly – NHL Deputy Commissioner IN STUDIO

Daly talked about how the biggest difference in this years lottery is the Devils have a penalty, resulting in them not having a chance to win the lottery (they will choose 30th). He said they are considering more evenly balanced odds for the non-playoff teams because they're usually equal quality teams. He doesn't think teams are looking to lose games for a better position. It is more concerning for him when a player like Connor McDavid is in the draft because teams might not want to do well to get a franchise player. He goes on to talk about the hole they are needing to fill with Brendan Shanahan leaving. The process remains the same and he remains confident in the leagues people to penalize fairly. Daly said he may replace Shanahan from within but has received a lot of people interested in the job. Daly said there is no relocation in the works in Buffalo and said he is optimistic about the teams future. He said it was a calm season in the NHL this year other than all the outdoor games. He goes on to talk about the Olympics and discussion over whether the NHL players will go to the next Olympics. He said not everyone is in agreement right now but they are going to try to get to a common place. He thinks they've handled the head injury lawsuits responsibly and he was not shocked by them, as the NFL went through the same situation. He also discussed the elimination of fighting and how it is on the decline (in 70% of games fighting didn't occur). He said the league will continue to attempt to make fighting less-dangerous.

6:30pm Tim Murray – Buffalo Sabres General Manager IN STUDIO

Murray joined the guys in Studio talked about coming in and having to evaluate the on-ice product, coaches and scouts quickly. He had to come in and get to know everyone so he could judge them to see who could help the team moving forward. When asked what Brendan Shanahan should do when dealing with Randy Carlyle, he said he has to get to know the coach to determine if their visions meet. He thinks everyone deserves a chance and made sure he kept an open mind that people could still be doing a good job behind the scenes even if the on-ice product was failing. He said it is a complete re-build in Buffalo, not simply a re-tool. He mentions how he needs to stay patient and the team will get better day-by-day. The team will not lose to have a better chance at Connor McDavid next year because he doesn't like losing. He said he was surprised by the passion and love for hockey in Buffalo. He compared Buffalo to a Canadian market and said the fans want a winner now. He touched on importance a Buffalo/Toronto rivalry, and said it would be a great thing to see happen.





April 14: Show In Review

The Canadian Press

Dave and Bruce Arthur react to the Brendan Shanahan introductory press conference and are joined by Shanahan and Tim Leiweke to discuss the direction the team is headed with new leadership on board.

Audio:

Hour 1:

Hour 1 of the TSN Drive with Dave Naylor. MLSE President and CEO Tim Leiweke joins the show to discuss Brendan Shanahan and the Maple Leafs. Hour 1 Audio

Hour 2:

Hour 2 of the TSN Drive with Dave Naylor. TSN hockey insider Bob McKenzie and new Leafs President Brendan Shanahan join the show. Hour 2 Audio

Hour 3:

Hour 3 of the TSN Drive with Dave Naylor. TSN hockey insider Darren Dreger joins the show to talk about Brendan Shanahan and his new role in Toronto. Hour 3 Audio


Recap:

4:47pm Tim Leiweke – President & CEO of MLSE

Leiweke spoke about the pressure and expectations of the Toronto market. It occurred to him that they needed a “hockey guy” to be team President. He is a big fan of Dave Nonis as GM and despite that they were always looking for a President and they wanted Shanahan all along. Thought Shanahan would be “perfect” here. And he was not brought in to scout draft picks. He sees himself as guy who “shakes the organization.” Sees himself as the “captain” here. Shanahan wants to set the tone, create a mission statement and identity in Toronto. He is the “boss,” it is his organization. Leiweke feels Dave Nonis will be more comfortable reporting to Shanahan than himself, as Shanahan is a hockey mind. Better reporting system today, as the GM is reporting to a Hall of Famer who knows the game. He also said he felt the team bought into Carlyle’s system in the shortened season – they were aggressive and tough to play against. The team had identity, purpose, and a mission statement. That was lost somewhere down the line. He also poke about importance of a strong presence like Brendan Shanahan and the attention and respect Shanahan commands when he walks into a room. He will set down the law and there will be accountability.

5:05pm Bob McKenzie – TSN Hockey Insider

McKenzie said both Linden and Shanahan have natural skill-sets that would prepare them for this type of thing. Shanahan has been with the NHL head office for 5 years; even as player was engaged in non-player things. He had active interest in lockout and made a monumental step forward to try and influence the way hockey is being played. Linden has no experience running team, but was intrinsically involved in the business end of the lockout. Always going to be skepticism with lack of experience. Does he see Barry Trotz as fit? Wouldn’t say he’s NOT a fit. Defensive minded coach. Leafs don’t play with structure, Trotz teams always do. Question that first needs to be answered is: “What style of play does this team want to play?” What kind of hockey does Brendan Shanahan believe in? Do the Leafs want a defensive minded coach after Carlyle, who wanted to employ a defensive style, failed? Spoke about history between Tortorella and Hartley. Continuation of their history in the minors.

5:33pm Brendan Shanahan – Maple Leafs President

Shanahan said his role is to come in here and be in a position of leadership. He wants to take time to learn personnel and bring self up to speed. He said things came together fast and he spoke to others about Leiweke before taking the job. They went through proper channels with Gary Bettman. He said there isa lot to learn about, different for every team. LA can win with certain style, differs from Chicago. Both different, both effective - no one way to win. He said there are lots of good people and pieces here and it’s difficult to talk about the future and hard to be reflecting on a season he wasn’t there for. Shanahan respects Leiweke’s idea of a culture change. Winning is a “cure-all.” He has developed thick skin, surrounded with good people. So long as your vision and plan is good, you endure criticism and get through the highs and lows. Believe in group you have. He is an admirer of Dave Nonis despite never working with him before but hockey is a small community and Nonis has a lot of respect in it. He also mentioned how he was reading about Fenwick & Crosi on his flight to Toronto.

6:17pm Darren Dreger – TSN Hockey Insider

Dreger said that the Maple Leafs lacked direction and identity. Leiweke is not a hockey guy, he wanted a crown jewel to make a statement and show he is paying attention. He said kludos to MLSE for hiring this guy and taking him off the market now. H believes he will be a quality executive. Dreger said it’s unfair to suggest that Shanahan is qualified to be Leiweke’s replacement as of now. How does he see balancing act between Nonis and Shanahan working out going forward? It’s not like Leiweke is trying to stifle Nonis. He believes they are truthful in saying they have a good working relationship. Nonis worked well with Burke. If he can put up with Burke, he can work with anyone. He also spoke about the Burke feud with Canucks and agrees with Burke telling Tortorella to worry about his own team.

Tuesday’s Show: Mike Tirico, Kyle Lowry



TSN Drive with Dave Naylor: April 7-11

TSN Drive with Dave Naylor: March 31-April 4

TSN Drive with Dave Naylor: March 24-28



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