Trip to Montreal 'Pegged a preview

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:18 AM ET

MONTREAL -- Sometimes, there really is a lot more to a match than the two points up for grabs.

The mighty Montreal Alouettes head into this afternoon's game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers boasting a CFL East-best 11-5 record after clinching top spot ages ago. The Bombers are limping into the playoffs in second despite a miserable 6-10 mark but still have a crack at facing the Alouettes in the East Final.

So the Als want to continue their dominance today, while the Bombers are determined to become a legitimate threat this post-season.

"This might be meaningless to you (media), but we want to go out on a high note during these next two games," Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo said yesterday. "We want to send a message to ourselves -- that for anybody to come into our backyard, it's going to be a tough task. We have to make sure that we can go out there and beat everybody.

"We've lost one game at home, and that was early to Calgary. Since then, we haven't lost so we want to continue the trend."

The Bombers are actually hoping this will be the first of three trips here, as Montreal is also hosting this year's Grey Cup.

"We're hoping to get back here for the Eastern Final and eventually, the Grey Cup," said veteran Bomber slotback Milt Stegall. "So there's a lot of meaning to it, because they beat us both times they played us. So if we do get back to that point, you want to have a little confidence that you did beat them one time."

The Bombers were battered by the Als the previous two meetings.

"We should be more motivated than they are just because we're looking to see if we're a different team in the second half of the season than we were in the first time around when we played these guys," said Bombers veteran defensive tackle Doug Brown. "Obviously, we want to see if we've made any progress or taken any steps in the right direction. The two times we played them, they handled us very well. That should be our motivation, to see if we're a better team.

"And we should be playing for respect. That's something that obviously, Montreal has, which goes hand-in-hand with their record, and it's something we feel we need to attain before we enter the playoffs."

A win would do wonders for the Bombers.

"If we could beat them, it would certainly send a message, particularly if they were playing with all their starters," said Bombers head coach Doug Berry. "Then a win would have significant meaning."

Both sides, however, are expected to play some possum with the possibility of playing each other again in three weeks.

"There are certain things I know we're not going to do, particularly in scheme, should we get back here," Berry said. "We're not going to unveil our whole hand right now, and I would think they'd be thinking the same thing. The important thing right now is to be able to play competitively and get it done that way."


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