Are you experienced?

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:48 AM ET

CALGARY -- It's hard to find a reason for concern in Cowtown.

The Calgary Stampeders are the hottest team in the CFL entering this weekend's West semifinal against the Edmonton Eskimos, winning seven of their last eight games.

They have won two straight against the Esks, outscoring Edmonton 81-39 in the last 10 quarters.

And they have a sizzling quarterback, with Henry Burris throwing nine touchdowns but no interceptions in the last four games.

But there is one potential problem for the Stamps as they prepare for their rematch with Edmonton on Sunday: a significant lack of CFL playoff experience.

Unlike in Edmonton where the Eskimos are loaded with playoff resumes, a whopping 27 members on Calgary's 40-man roster have never been involved in a CFL playoff game.

That's what happens when a team hasn't been to the post-season dance in four years.

Included in the list of post-season rookies is all-star RB Joffrey Reynolds, ace kicker Sandro DeAngelis, Jermaine Chatman - the rookie DB hero from last Sunday - and leading receiver Nik Lewis.

Understandably, every player in the Stamps' locker-room has been involved in a playoff or major game in high school or college.

But a CFL West semifinal with the provincial archrival on a cold November night, with the pressure turned up, is a different beast.

"It is different (than a major college game)," said Stamp DT Sheldon Napastuk.

"There are bigger bodies, more talent, more on the line. This is your career now and you can either go on and make more money and have a chance to win that championship ring or you can go home to watch it on TV.

"It is funny just how much the game got elevated (last Sunday) in terms of the level of hitting and the speed of everything - and it is only going to go further from there (this weekend)."

Offensive guard Jay McNeil is one of just three players on today's roster from the Stamps' last post-season trip in 2001.

He has a simple message for the playoff rookies.

"They have got to understand that there is no margin for error now," he said.

"You got to be hot. If you have one bad quarter in a playoff game, it can be over quick."

The entire secondary has no playoff experience.

The entire receiving core, with the exception of Jeremaine Copeland, is in the same boat.

In total, the 13 Stamps that have tasted the post-season have a combined 50 playoff games under their belt.

In comparison, the Esks have 163 games of playoff experience from 28 players, 16 of which won the 2003 Grey Cup.

But - not surprisingly - there doesn't seem to be any outward concern in the Stampeder dressing room.

"We have approached every game as if it was a playoff (since playing Hamilton in October)," said Burris.

"We felt if we had lost a game (in the final month of the regular season) our season was over."

One team will see the season end on Sunday afternoon. Will the team loaded with playoff rookies rise to the next level and continue to march?

Stay tuned.


Videos

Photos