When the Montreal Alouettes take the field Sunday versus the Calgary Stampeders, they have the opportunity to break the tie atop the CFL Eastern division. The Als got a huge assist from the Toronto Argonauts as they held on for a win versus the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. With a win, all the Alouettes would have to do to secure the Eastern Final at home is win versus B.C. in Vancouver. To say that this upcoming game is crucial simply doesn’t understate its importance.
Calgary’s very much in the playoff hunt and will be looking to keep pace with Edmonton and B.C.. They’ve rolled the dice with Drew Tate as their starting quarterback after Henry Burris turned in some forgettable performances of late. Tate will be tested by the Alouettes D early and often. Tate has capable receivers that will try to give their QB all the field position he can use. This game has the potential to be a total shootout with all the offensive weapons each team possesses.
Montreal’s kick returns will feature another new face as Perry Floyd was simply unable to live up to Montreal’s standards and was let go this week. So now returning kicks will be Rashaud Slaughter, who hasn’t been seen since the last pre-season game. He does have the speed to get the job done, but will still need the rest of the special teams players to provide him with the blocks needed t get loose and torch the Stamps. This has been a big challenge for the Alouettes’ special teams all season long, which has yet to have a kick returned for a touchdown.
If they can’t give the kick returner the chance to run up the field, it won’t matter who’s returning the kicks. Whether it was Tim Maypray or Perry Floyd or whomever, no one can seem to get more than 20 yards returning the ball. The returner has to make things happen, but more well-time blocks can be the difference between a 20 yard return and a touchdown. I had said earlier that special teams were going to be the Alouettes’ weak point this year and while they’ve made tremendous defensive strides when they’ve had to kick off to opponents, they also need to help set the table for Anthony Calvillo & the offense as well.
Tomorrow’s game will be the last game at Percival Molson Stadium for the 2011 season. After that, it’ll be in the cavernous Olympic Stadium which is only awesome when it’s filled with over 50,000 loud football fans. So for the last chance to have that open-air football experience, you have to get down to the game tomorrow.
Tomorrow is also the Purolator Tackle Hunger game, which allows fans to take a picture with the Grey Cup in exchange for a donation of cash or non-perishable goods. The Sun Youth Food Bank in Montreal will be the recipients of your generous donations. So please bring some goods or open your wallets. And to sweeten the deal, a draw will be held for an autographed Anthony Calvillo jersey. So come on out and support this great cause.
Also, tomorrow will be the final Tailgate party at Molson Stadium. The great fellas from LesGarsQuiVivent.com will be doing a tailgate at the Big O, but to see where it all began, come out tomorrow to see this great event as it was as well. They are promising a variety of wild game cooked to perfection on their grill. All are welcome to come and have a great time, even Stampeders fans that may have made the trip from Calgary. For more info, check out their web site.
Finally, I ask everyone who reads this blog to please vote for me as Gibson’s Finest Fan. I made a video to show my passion for the Montreal Alouettes. If you can please click on this link: http://www.facebook.com/gibsonsfinest?sk=app_216823141696635 and Like the page, then click VOTE NOW and search for Clifford P. You can vote every day and every vote is appreciated. The prize is a trip to the 99th Grey Cup, which you know I will be more than happy to cover for this blog and your reading enjoyment. Thank you for your consideration.
That’s all for now. I’ll be live-tweeting from the game, be sure to follow along on Twitter for all your in-game info and Alouettes highlights. The playoff race is on, let’s get the Alouettes to the finish line and in first place!