Crucial stretch for Ticats

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:18 AM ET

Pretenders who need plenty of work, or a club that truly can make noise in the playoffs?

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats could get an answer in the next week with the Calgary Stampeders in Steeltown tonight and the Montreal Alouettes visiting next Friday.

"You don't want to overlook your next game, but it's going to be a great measuring stick for us," offensive tackle Dan Goodspeed said yesterday. "Calgary is (at the level) we want to be, being the defending Grey Cup champions, and Montreal is No. 1 in the East, so it will be a good test. Montreal (at 8-2) is not out of reach."

The Ticats (5-5) will attempt to rebound after losing to the Argos in overtime last week. The Stamps (6-4) have won three in a row and their three road wins are tied for the CFL lead.

Running men

An intriguing battle tomorrow night, when the Argos take on the Lions in B.C., will feature running backs Jamal Robertson and Martell Mallett. Mallett, a Lions rookie, leads the CFL with 1,070 yards from scrimmage; Robertson is second with 1,059.

Part of what makes Robertson effective is his ability to break tackles.

"There have been times when a guy has been lying on the ground hurt and I've gone over and said: 'Jamal runs hard, huh?'" Argos offensive lineman Rob Murphy said.

"I like playing for a physical running back and you go the extra yard for someone who puts it all on the line."

Briefly

Argos head coach Bart Andrus confirmed that receiver Jerome Mathis will be signed and P.K. Sam (shoulder) will not play tomorrow. Cornerback Jordan Younger, who also was hurt, will play ... At 0-4 against the West, the Argos are the only team in the CFL this season to not win yet in 2009 outside its division.


Videos

Photos