This was not the way the Montreal Alouettes wanted to end the season. A tremendous loss to the B.C. Lions and as a result losing the opportunity to clinch the bye week makes for a challenging start to the playoffs.
Now the Alouettes will host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Olympic Stadium this coming Sunday. The winner of that match-up then heads to Winnipeg to face the Blue Bombers.
Montreal had three chances to clinch the division and couldn’t capitalize. But history has been kind to the Alouettes when it comes to playoff games at the Big O. The Alouettes are 7-1 all-time in their home away from home and have never lost an Eastern Semi-Final game there, so that’s encouraging.
The Ti-Cats have beaten Montreal twice this season, but never in Montreal and they are 2-7 on the road this season. With an uncertainty in their quarterback situation and on a 2 game losing streak of their own, Hamilton can hardly afford to be over-confident.
Weather won’t be a factor under the dome, so for Montreal to win they just need to score. Early and often. No more stalling in the red zone, they have to entrust their running game and their passing game.
Anthony Calvillo has taken a ton of heat and rightly so, but his legend will be forever cemented by turning back all his critics and getting this team back to the Grey Cup.
If you have never been to a playoff game at Olympic Stadium, it becomes a party like no other. Normally a cavernous & drab area, the joint rocks with the fans that normally don’t get into Percival Molson Stadium. Heightened by the need for the Alouettes to win, fans get right behind the team and it can become deafening.
Last year the Alouettes bested the Argonauts to advance to the Grey Cup and did so in convincing fashion. Victories came readily at the hands of the Lions and Eskimos as well in years previous, so there’s no question it’s a winning environment for the Alouettes.
I’d never want to go back there for 9 home games a year but one for November afternoon, there’s no place I’d rather be to cheer on the Alouettes to victory.
The quest to send me to the Grey Cup continues this week! Please go to http://www.dirtybirdblog.ca/vote-cliffy-d to learn more on how to vote for me to go and represent the Montreal Alouettes.
You can vote once per day up until 11:59pm Sunday night. And you know I’d be reporting on everything Grey Cup if your votes send me, so please log in and vote, vote, vote!
Every vote is certainly appreciated. Thank you.
So go get your playoff tickets already and let’s fill out Olympic Stadium. It will be a scenic route for the Alouettes to take en route to Vancouver but with your help, this team can erase the last couple weeks of heartache and head towards that 3-peat.