MONTREAL -- If the Calgary Stampeders only used the Alouettes as a measuring stick, they could give themselves an A+ this season.
Although the Stamps are .500 against their other competition, they were the first to knock off the undefeated Alouettes two weeks ago at McMahon in one of their finest efforts of 2006.
The last-second 27-24 win thanks to a field goal by Sandro DeAngelis has given the team an emotional boost, much like it did a year ago when they marched into Molson Stadium and won off the foot of DeAngelis.
According to Stamps quarterback Henry Burris, knocking off the powerhouse Als again tonight (5:30 p.m., TSN) would prove Calgary belongs among the league's elite.
"Usually we get them at mid-season and that's when teams are starting to hit their stride," Burris said.
"The middle section of the season determines who will be competing for first place and who will just make the playoffs.
"This is the time to make our move. It's good for us to play a great team because there won't be any letdowns.
"Going into McGill, that's one of the most intimidating places to play in this league."
However, the Stamps may have caught the Als at the wrong time.
Anthony Calvillo is coming off one of the worst performances of his career.
The Toronto Argonauts picked off Calvillo five times last week in a beating that quickly turned the Als seven-game win streak into a two-game slide.
Calvillo's former teammate Jeremaine Copeland warns the veteran pivot won't play that poorly twice in a row.
Even with two straight losses, the Als are still the top team in the CFL this season.
"Just playing Montreal, being the dominant team they are and have been in the past, everybody knows that puts you in perspective of where you are as a team," said Copeland, who played four seasons with Calvillo. "We came away with one win but the biggest thing is to win in Montreal ... If we pull this one out, we're on track for where we need to be heading down the stretch and getting a winning streak going."
Calvillo, who turned 34 yesterday, understands because of all the success the Als have had over the past few seasons, they have a target fixed on their jerseys as the benchmark club to beat.
"Every time we go out there, it's always a bit different from what we anticipate," Calvillo said. "When teams play us, they want to beat us.
"I feel Calgary is the same. They do a lot of different things each game."
Although the Stamps won at McMahon two weeks ago, the offence was less than stellar. Dropped passes once again hurt the club but Copeland prefers to think about the positives, which include a pair of drives to tie it and then win.
A win would vault the Stamps into the back-to-back Labour Day matches against the Edmonton Eskimos with a ton of confidence.
"Last time, we pulled out the victory, hopefully we can sneak this one out," Copeland said.
"That's how we got it going last year. If we get this win, we'll be ready to rise towards a championship run."