Bandwagon gains steam

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:27 AM ET

MONTREAL -- The Edmonton Eskimos' bandwagon has gained new passengers this week.

After receiving very little support in Sun Media's game-prediction poll last Saturday against Winnipeg, that has changed this weekend for the Green and Gold.

A 29-21 Edmonton victory in the East Division semi-final in the Manitoba capital one week ago - which was predicted by just four of 18 media handicappers - has set up today's East final with the Montreal Alouettes.

The game has been broken down and examined in every way possible.

Can Edmonton's defence stop Montreal's quick strike passing game today?

Can the Eskimos capitalize on a rusty Alouettes squad in the first quarter?

Will Montreal running back Avon Cobourne be a factor or a bust?

All that is left now is another Sun Media poll and kickoff.

Here are the media predictions for today's East final (11 a.m. MT, TSN, CHED).

1. Ken Peters, Hamilton Spectator: Montreal 41, Edmonton 37

Comment: "Passes go wild at Olympic Stadium."

2. Dave Campbell, CHED radio: Edmonton 34, Montreal 25

Comment: "Eskimos offence will be too much."

3. Bryan Hall, CHED radio: Edmonton 32, Montreal 24

Comment: "Eskimos rookie-laden team finally comes together at just the right time."

4. Perry Lefko, Sportsnet: Montreal 30, Edmonton 18

Comment: "(Montreal is) much the best - as they say at the racetrack."

5. Terry Jones, Edmonton Sun: Edmonton 33, Montreal 30

Comment: "Six of Montreal's wins were against Toronto and Hamilton."

6. Dave Mitchell, CTV (Edmonton affiliate): Montreal 37, Edmonton 31

Comment: "Als can't blow another one - can they?"

7. Mark Connolly, CBC (Edmonton affiliate): Montreal 38, Edmonton 35

Comment: "Anthony Cavlillo will dominate Esks' defence."

8. Rick Moffat, CJAD radio (Montreal): Montreal 37, Edmonton 35

Comment: "It's Calvillo's year and it's time the Als beat the hated Eskimos."

9. John Sexsmith, Global TV (Edmonton affiliate): Montreal 35, Edmonton 27

Comment: "Best DBs win."

10. Rob Martier, CJAD radio: Edmonton 40, Montreal 35

Comment: "Montreal (has a) weak secondary."

11. Herb Zurkowsky, Montreal Gazette: Edmonton 38, Montreal 35

Comment: "Ricky Ray will pick them apart."

12. Craig MacEwen, Sportsnet: Edmonton 35, Montreal 32

Comment: "Ricky Ray is better than Anthony Calvillo."

13. David Arsenault, RDS: Edmonton 37, Montreal 34

Comment: "Montreal has lost three of the last five games."

14. Bill Beacon, Canadian Press: Montreal 31, Edmonton 21

Comment: "Because of the coach (in Montreal)."

15. Dave Naylor, Globe and Mail: Montreal 39, Edmonton 30

Comment: "Avon Cobourne is the difference maker."

16. Miguel Bujold, La Presse: Montreal 33, Edmonton 27

Comment: "In (Marc) Trestman we trust."

17. Jonathan Huntington, Edmonton Sun: Montreal 35, Edmonton 25

Comment: "The 40-4 Edmonton loss in Montreal in September is still clear in my mind."

Of the 17 reporters in the poll, 10 are taking the Montreal Alouettes to win and advance to the Grey Cup on Nov. 23.

That means Edmonton's stock has gone up from last week, but is still not high enough to be considered favourites for the media horde covering this game.


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