Well, we have six games left in the season, and realistically, the entire west division appears like they are about to punch their ticket to the post season, and the Argos are one game from clinching so I thought I'd start a thread discussing the teams warring for the last two spots in the East division.
Hamilton - Current Record 6/6 - Tiebreakers: Won vs Winnipeg, winning 1/3 vs Montreal, losing 1/3 vs Toronto
Remaining Games: Cal, @Tor, Tor, @Mon, Mon, @Win
Hamilton currently has the best chances of making the post season. The recent win over Montreal means one more win against the Als wins them the tiebreaker, which if that happens, would effectively put Montreal four games back on Hamilton if the teams keep pace with each other. This would also make an east division semi-final home game likely for the Ti-Cats. If the tabbies get three more wins, Winnipeg and Edmonton cannot catch them and they are in the post season. The games vs Toronto are crucial as they present Hamilton, not only a chance to punch their ticket to the post season early and a clear morale boost for the team, but also a solid chance of knocking Toronto of the 1st of the East pedestal.
Montreal - Current Record 4/8 - Tiebreakers: Tied 1/3 vs Winnipeg, losing 1/3 vs Hamilton, losing 2/4 vs Toronto (21 point differential)
Remaining Games: Sask, @Edm, Win, Ham, @Ham, @Tor
After Hamilton, Montreal currently has the 2nd best chance of making it to the post-season. That being said, it's not a cake walk by any means for the Als. If Winnipeg wins the remaining game, Winnipeg will hold the tiebreak of the series. Conversely if the Als win, that could effectively end Winnipeg's chances. Also, is Edmonton beats Montreal and they've kept pace, Edmonton as well is within one game of crossing over. Montreal's schedule however is by far the easiest with a game vs Edmonton, the crucial Winnipeg game and a home@home vs the still somewhat inconsistent Hamilton.
Winnipeg - Current Record 2/10 - Tiebreakers: Tied 1/3 vs Montreal, Lost vs Hamilton, losing 1/3 vs Toronto
Remaining Games: BC, @Cal, @Mon, Tor, @Tor, Ham
Realistically, if Winnipeg beats Montreal in week 16, that's a huge boost for Winnipeg's playoff chances if they keep current pace with the Als. That makes them one game back from a payoff spot. It's possible for Winnipeg to do it, but BC and Calgary are arguably harder games then Montreal's Saskatchewan and Edmonton. From there, well tough games vs Toronto and Hamilton await. Winnipeg also has to worry about Edmonton making a strong showing, but not as much as Montreal.
Edmonton - Current Record 3/9 - Tiebreaker Status: N/A Crossover rules require finishing with a better record, lost vs BC
Remaining Games: Tor, Mon, @Sask, Cal, @BC, @Sask
I added the lost tiebreaker vs BC to the list to emphasize that Edmonton making it to the post season in the West division is very unlikely. They are effectively five games back on BC since they lost the tiebreak. So that leaves crossing over to the East. As it stands, they need to win at least two and have Montreal lose out and Winnipeg to not cause them any trouble. Is that possible, yes but not very likely, since this would also require Winnipeg to beat Montreal and also lose out. Realistically the Esks need at least four wins here in my eyes. The problem here is without a doubt, Edmonton has the hardest schedule remaining as Calgary, Saskatchewan twice don't bode well fort he Esks. That and they have a must win over Montreal.
What are your thoughts?
I think it's going to be as follows.
I think Montreal brought it's best game vs Hamilton that last game, I don't see their QBs having a much better game again. I think Mike Riley is going to spoil the Edmonton game for them and Winnipeg will overcome Montreal with their defence. However the rest of the season for Winnipeg and Edmonton are going to be disappointments. Hamilton has had Winnipeg's number all year, Saskatchewan & Calgary will prove too much for Riley's gusto, I think Montreal and Toronto are both going to split the Hamilton series, not due to their own efforts but from Hamilton's inconsistency. Your thoughts?