Als still something special

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:32 AM ET

They're not the beasts from the East - at least not right now.

Their opponents aren't the top gunslingers in the Wild West - for the moment.

But when the Montreal Alouettes and Edmonton Eskimos hook up, be they third in the East and second in the West, it's still one of the CFL's marquee matchups.

"It's not that long ago that we were playing them in back-to-back Grey Cups," figured Esks bench boss Danny Maciocia. "They're at 4-4 and that's not something we've seen them at for a long time. We've made a lot of changes too, but when both teams take to the field, I'm sure they're going to get after one another."

The Labour Day Classic and the return match against Calgary still rank as the Esks' top rivalry games on the schedule, but the way Edmonton and Montreal had risen to the top tier of the league put something extra into their clashes.

Adding in the fact there are so many ex-Eskimos and onetime Als in the respective locker rooms heightens the interest.

Throw in the fact that both teams are coming off hard-to-swallow losses, and the level of intrigue goes way up.

"It would be sad to have two losses in a row because we're a better team than that," said Eskimo Steve Charbonneau, one of the former Alouettes and a native of Montreal.

"If you always keep in mind that you lost the week before then you can't go out and do your job right.

"We have to focus on what's in the present, and that's beating Montreal."


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