Starting the season with a Must Win game

Als are in a particular situation this year. They open up at home against arguably the weakest and must unstable franchise in the league.

With the division so closely matched top to bottom, this is a game the Als can't drop. I would go even further, they have to look good, the offense has to be dynamic and move the ball, the defense eeking out a win would not convince any fans or media.

Saskatchewan is going to Blitz Darrian as long as their defense can handle it. It's a team that has a good defensive front and plays a similar style to what our offense practices against every day. Preparation should not be an issue.

On offense they have two receivers that can move the ball across the field in a single play but that's it and if the Als are smart, they will bring the CraCra out of Duron, that is never too difficult. Their running game is nonexistent and every ball KG throw to the middle of the field is as likely to be batted down as it is to get where he wants it to go.


Montreal 38 Saskatchewan 11

Talk about pressure :slight_smile:
Go get them boys!

Couldn't agree more, Hfx!

But, like in recent past seasons, I just don't know what to expect. We have been through a number of coaches, a number of systems, some of which were more cockamamie than others, but we still had a cadre of good players that could have/should have been able to have a winning record.

I think we still have good players that should be able to rack up Ws for us this season, but I find myself still wondering what ream shows up on game day. Will Chapdelaine be the coach we have needed all these years? Will the system he and his assistants devises be the right ones? Do we have enough depth to handle the inevitable injuries?

So, at the beginning of every season, I hope the Als will be able to put up good numbers, and win! I would like nothing better to see Ws, and convincing Ws at that!.

Go Als go!

I agree with Hepell that we are in the best shape we've been since Calvillo's retirement.
Every team hinges on staying healthy and Chapdelaine has done a really good job keeping hs players healthy since he took over last year.

What I will be looking at mainly.

Can the Als run the football consistently?
Can Bear Woods replacement perform to the standard set, that move is still incomprehensible to me.
But in the end, will Darrian stay healthy? It is likely one of the eastern teams will lose their Starting QB, hopefully, it isn't us.

I think the team has a huge advantage in the kicking game. If Bede has the kind of season he is capable of. I've always said the second biggest difference maker in the CFL after the QB is the kicker.

I understand the sentiment but it's a risky play to label a game as" a must win". At least internally. And the first game of the year? What happens if they lose? Where do you go from there? I really hope no team starts with this mindset.

All true, but that is the reality of the situation. If they can't beat a reconstructing team at home traveling from out West with a new offense who can they beat?

This will also set the narrative in the media that will drive fan interest and ticket sales for the summer.

It is very much a must win game.

Herb Zurkowsky? @HerbZurkowsky1 5m5 minutes ago

Dominique Tovell, not Anthony Sarao, is practicing at MLB for #AlsMTL

Does not exactly exude confidence that they are not settled at such an important position.

Jovon Johnson has been added to Riders practice roster.

Jones is probably quizzing him on the Als D as I type this.

Not to mention the next five games are against Esks in Edmonton, Lions and Stamps in Montreal, RedBlacks in Ottawa and Bombers in Winnipeg.

FWIW there are 22 players gone from last season`s 1st game 46 man roster, plus another 6 from the Injured Lists. Basically half the team. 16 are still in the league.

James Bodanis
Brandon Bridge
Marco Brouillette
Duron Carter
Alan Michael Cash
Rakeem Cato
Ethan Davis
Kevin Glenn
Kyle Graves
S.J. Green
Jovon Johnson
Michael Klassen
Aaron Lavarias
Vaughn Martin
Billy Parker
Jeff Perrett
Jake Piotrowski
Nick Shorthill
Kenny Stafford
James Tuck
Winston Venable
Bear Woods

From Injured Lists:

Jonathan Crompton
DeQuin Evans
Jeffrey Finlay
Andrew Lue
Wayne Moore
Ryan White

Richard must be having supper early today so I`ll post that according to June 18 CFL Transactions Devon Bailey has been released and Alex Morrison has been put on the Retired List, as we know he is somewhat reluctantly returning to UBC.

Thank you,Sheldon.


And it looks like he will be starting at field corner.

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Sheesh...doesn't speak highly of Rider initial be starting a guy at that position to start the season who's just been picked up. That said I think he's a good addition. 1-2 practices if that.

On the radio this morning Chapdelaine basically said it will be Dominique Tovell (better known as Who?) starting at MLB Thursday.

Sheldon (who bit his lip typing this)

This whole thing is a lie. They didn’t want to pay Bear Woods so they made up this “We want to go younger story”. The final chapter will be written by how well his replacements play THIS SEASON and How much Woods improves the Argos.

Herb Zurkowsky? @HerbZurkowsky1 11m11 minutes ago

Both Raymon Taylor and @SamGiguere are practicing today. #AlsMTL

HFX. says.."This whole thing is a lie. They didn't want to pay Bear Woods so they made up this "We want to go younger story". The final chapter will be written by how well his replacements play THIS SEASON and How much Woods improves the Argos."

Sorry my quotes function is screwed up.

I agree . I think it was a financial decision. If it was, why are teams reluctant to just say " We can't afford him." Is it because they think it makes them look less than competent? They think fans don't want to hear the truth?

Upon further review:

Herb Zurkowsky? @HerbZurkowsky1 24m24 minutes ago

Actually, while Taylor and Giguere are out here, neither is doing much. Can't see either playing this week.

Not many options to replace Raymon Taylor, only Travis Hawkins from practice roster. Probably should have kept Jovon Johnson around.

Hot Dog Hawkins!

As far as MLB. I'm a lot more comfortable with Tovell than I was with Sarao.

Good question.