SPOILER ALERT: The Montreal Alouettes will lose this Saturday in BC!
Now that statement certainly flies in the face of what this blog is all about, doesn’t it? Hardly a positive, objective thought for the Montreal Alouettes. But you’d be forgiven if you glanced at the 2014 schedule and automatically penciled in this Saturday’s game as an loss for the Alouettes.
For the past few years when the Lions and Alouettes play, home field determines the winner. You’d have to go back to 2010 for the last team the road team won this match-up, as the Alouettes squeaked out a win at the temporary Empire Field and the Lions humbled the Calvillo-less Als at Molson Stadium. Since then, it’s been all about the home teams.
The 2014 home opener did nothing to change the notions of the above paragraph as the Alouettes handily beat BC despite no touchdown passes from Troy Smith. The Montreal defense took advantage of a porous Lions O-Line and made Kevin Glenn’s evening a long one. This Saturday both teams will square off again with a few tweaks to each lineup.
So Montreal should win again quite handily, right? Had the Lions lost to the defending Grey Cup champions in Saskatchewan last week, I might have been inclined to agree. But the one theme Lions fans have amongst them is Pride and it trickles down the their players as well. Andrew Harris literally put the Lions on his back and helped lead them to their first victory of 2014 in the usually hostile territory known as Riderville.
Both Harris and Glenn are proven winners and the Alouettes will have to contain those two yet again if they want a shot at breaking this 14 year long “BC Place curse” of theirs. Also, Troy Smith has to play the same game he did last week versus Winnipeg, but with better ball protection.
Throwing three touchdowns is great, but responsibility for two defensive touchdowns from the Blue Bombers falls squarely on his shoulders. Smith does take a while to get warmed up and when he does, he can be the leader this Alouettes team needs him to be. But Troy’s accuracy and decision making also needs to be on point if this West Coast trip is going to be fruitful.
The Alouettes will have to rely on their running game and Brandon Whitaker is proving to be more than up to the task. Steven Lumbala won’t be in at fullback, so the Alouettes brought back another name from the past in Dahrran Diedrick, who was always great in short-yardage situations that needed a bit of muscle and on special teams as well. He’ll be eager to take advantage of this second chance with the Alouettes .
I am expecting this game to be a closer one than the one played two weeks ago. Montreal has a chance to win, they just need to take care of the little things. It was the little things that led to a one-point loss to Winnipeg last week and I am certain that Coach Higgins and his staff have drilled that point into the heads of this Alouettes team this week at practice.
Little things lead to big things. And a win on the Left Coast will be a very big thing!
If you’re not going to Vancouver to watch the game and staying at home to watch it doesn’t strike your fancy, where can you go Saturday night to see this game? The city of Montreal certainly has no shortage of bars and restaurants with TVs to watch the game on. But if you’re looking for that one-of-a-kind experience with your fellow Alouettes fans, you have to check out La Station des Sports!
After years of ignoring the need to congregate their fans, the Montreal Alouettes are trying to embrace the idea of an actual viewing party for its road games. While the Alouettes and their fans will never fill the Bell Centre like the Canadiens do during the Stanley Cup playoff road games, a viewing party for the Alouettes is a great opportunity to cultivate casual fans and show support.
Teaming up with La Station des Sports, you can now join your fellow fans in cheering on the Alouettes as they play in other cities. With several TVs tuned to the game and plenty of cold libations to quench your thirst, you won’t miss a minute of the action. And if that alone wasn’t enough, your Alouettes cheerleaders will be there along with former Alouettes players/legends to take in all the action.
For more info as well as a schedule of the upcoming road games, click here.
Enjoy the game on Saturday, no matter where in this great country of ours that you watch it. Next week is a bye week for the Alouettes, but not for The ALSternative. I plan on doing a special column regarding a hot topic amongst the CFL community of late and my take on what should be done.
As usual, stay tuned and follow along on Twitter. The Alouettes players have been verified there and maybe one day, so will this intrepid blogger.
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.