Not exactly the start we were expecting….
After a humbling defeat at the hands of the Calgary Stampeders, the Alouettes will have to have short memories and be ready to welcome their fans back to the Dirty Birds’ Nest that is Percival Molson Stadium. Facing the Als will be the thorn in the side from last year, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. These 2 teams played some thrilling games last year, but both have made sweeping changes in their rosters and are not the teams that battled tooth & nail for the top spot in the Eastern division the season previous.
Anthony Calvillo looked very human this past Sunday and will be eager to prove that it was a minor blip in his resurgence. Naturally, all his critics were at the ready to write him off as old & washed up. But the cream always rises to the top and AC will relish being back in the house he built. If he’s not worried about last week’s game, then neither should anyone in Alouettes Nation.
Once again, special teams will be a huge factor in the game. Montreal has decided on both Noel Devine & Trent Guy as their kick returners and while they both can scorch the opposition with speed, they still need the guys in front of them to clear the path and that’s been a huge problem for some time now. This team is spoiling for some playmakers; hopefully one or two well-timed blocks are in order to let these speedy youngsters take flight.
The defense was perhaps a bit too aggressive last week; taking huge risks and letting Calgary burn them with some explosive rushes. And with Shea Emry’s late hit on Drew Tate costing him a few bucks, it’s clear that the defensive schemes are going to go through some growing pains. With Emry & Marc-Olivier Brouillette both patrolling the field, no one doubts their ability & physicality. And watching Kyries Hebert enjoy a youthful resurgence after a year away from pro football is a sight we Als fans will enjoy again & again in 2012.
As fans, we don’t take kindly to slow starts. And last Sunday’s game was a painful reminder that this not the same team as before. But I also believe that the team has taken the right steps in ensuring a successful season. A new culture takes time to develop and the wins will come this season. Without all the distractions that come with things like AC’s records or the pressure to three-peat as Grey Cup champions, this Montreal team will prey upon opponents that think the Alouettes will not be as dominant as they have been.
For those of you going to the game tomorrow, be sure to check out the tailgate party put on by LesGarsQuiVivent.com. Same as last year, they will have the BBQ going for you to grill up some eats and Alouettes fans from all walks of life are welcome. Yours truly will be there, as I never tiring of meeting fellow Als fans and getting the chance to enjoy the scenery before entering the stadium. Be sure to check it out, happening on the eastern side of the stadium as you climb the mountain.
Keeping it short this week…be sure to follow along on Twitter for live game tweets and I’ll be back later this weekend to post my thoughts on the 2012 season opener. The season’s underway and with the first Alouettes home game in the books, summer is truly here!
GO ALS GO!!!
About the Author
Written by Clifford Pine
Montreal born & bred, lover of sports. Passionate about the Montreal Alouettes. Also a great cook & not too bad a dancer.