These Cats will be tough

DANIEL WILSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 2:01 PM ET

Needing one win to clinch the West Division title, the Lions will battle the loathsome Hamilton Tiger-Cats tonight, with the Ti-Cats looking to play spoiler to the Leos' great run and six-game winning streak.

Hamilton enters this week's contest with a dismal record of 2-14 and lost one of their few bright spots on the season earlier this month when running back Jesse Lumsden was placed on the nine game injured reserve with a left shoulder injury.

Still, the Lions have no plans to take Hamilton for granted.

"We never take anything lightly," said return specialist Ian Smart. "We don't care what the record is, we're just going to go in and just play hard."

The expectation in the Lions locker room is that the Ti-Cats are going to come out and look to salvage some aspects of the season by causing trouble for top-tier teams like B.C.

"When a team pretty much has nothing to play for, they're pretty tough to beat," said Smart. "They want to come in and ruin your perfect season. They're going to come out and they're going to play us hard."

Of course, the ultimate goal for the Lions in this contest is to clinch their division and make next week's final game of the season meaningless. Clinching the division title and earning a bye week before hosting the Western Championship game, says Smart, would be a great achievement for the team.

"That's something we talked about coming into training camp, coming into the season," said Smart. "All that stuff, we stressed a lot. We're just going to go out and try to get the job done this week."

And there's always the Casey Printers factor, signed by Hamilton in September for $500,000 per season, making him the highest paid player in the CFL. Printers was a former star quarterback for the Lions, leading them to the 2004 Grey Cup game before losing the starting job to Dave Dickenson.

Printers will likely be best remembered during his time in B.C. for the quarterback controversy that ensued the following season and both Printers and Dickenson battled for the job, causing a rift in the Lions dressing room.

Smart says there hasn't been a lot of talk about facing Printers, but he's sure some on the team are chomping at the bit to get at the former CFL Most Outstanding Player.


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