The Cosmic Ballet of Toronto's Big 3 Pro Sports Teams

Despite frustrating me for three quarters, the Raptors actually won in Milwaukee yesterday to tie their first round series with the Bucks at 2 games apiece. They should advance to the second round, although nothing is a surety when this team is in the playoffs. They're rather unpredictable, hence the frustration.

Tonight I'll be glued to the Leafs game as we try to win at home to force a game seven with the President's Trophy winning Capitals. What a series this has been... four games have been decided in OT and the other was decided by a single goal. The Leafs are hanging with the big boys and it's been thrilling.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jays are in Anaheim so I've been waking up to find out how we've done. We lost last night, lowering our record to 4-13. That's a .235 winning percentage. That's bad... very, very bad.

The past two years the Jays and Leafs were flipped. The Jays were thrilling, advancing to two ALCS. The Leafs were junk. They've essentially switched spots on the Toronto pro sports spectrum.

One day, all three teams will be competitive. It's never happened before, but hope springs eternal. In the meantime, I'm just glad we've had two out of three in the playoffs the past few years. It sure beats how things looked a mere five years ago.

And two out of three ain't bad.

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Of Bill Barilko and 100 Years of Maple Leafs History

Bill Barilko's overtime winner in game five of the 1951 Stanley Cup final was scored 66 years ago tonight. I love the legend of Bashin' Bill and have hosted this tribute in one form or another for the past 19 years.

If you're interested in Bill Barilko's story, I urge you to listen to my conversation with hockey historian Kevin Shea. He's quite the expert and full of interesting details. It's mandatory listening for any Maple Leafs fans interested in the club's 100 year history.

On the topic of Leafs history, Tim Thompson's updated Maple Leafs Forever montage captures it perfectly. I simply can't get tired of watching this.

Tim and I spoke about this montage in great detail during his visit to my basement studio. If you want to hear how it came together and the effort involved, listen to this.

The song accompanying Tim's montage is Peace and Quiet by Ron Hawkins, lead singer and songwriter for Lowest of the Low. Ron visited me last summer and we spoke about this song and its use by Tim for Maple Leafs Forever. Here's that conversation.

Tonight, let's win it for Bill. Go Leafs!

Barilko

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

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Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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Night Walk

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 232: Howard Berger

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 232In this 232nd episode, Mike chats with Howard Berger about his 23 years at The Fan 590, the blog he started the day he was fired, and whether he'll ever work in the MSM again. This episode is exactly 2:24:41.

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Howard Berger and me

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Leafs Win!

leaf-fan

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 231: Elvis

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 231In this 231st episode, Mike catches up with Elvis. This episode is exactly 1:28:37.

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Elvis and me

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 230: Bill Hayes

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 230In this 230th episode, Mike chats with Bill Hayes about his years at 680 CFTR, Mix 99.9, The Fan 590, Q107 and AM640, what it was like working with his brother John Derringer and how proud he is of his son Bryan Hayes. This episode is exactly 1:16:34.

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Bill Hayes and Me

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2017 Playoff Pool Draft Complete

I've been hosting the annual playoff pool for several years, but I've never won. Before I hosted, when I was merely a participant, I didn't win, either. In total, I'd guess that's over two decades of futility.

With Great Lakes Beer flowing and Palma Pasta fresh from the oven, fourteen of us made our picks last night. I had the 11th overall pick and here's my team that's all but guaranteed to lose.

  1. A. Panarin - CHI
  2. D. Keith - CHI
  3. P. Bergeron - BOS
  4. D. Krejci - BOS
  5. J. Carlson - WAS
  6. R. Hartman - CHI
  7. P. Eaves - ANA
  8. R. Spooner - BOS
  9. S. Vatanen - ANA
  10. L. Eller - WAS

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