Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Stampeders, Bombers Looking Good Heading into Stretch Run of CFL Regular Season

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Stampeders, Bombers Looking Good Heading into Stretch Run of CFL Regular Season

Article excerpt

Still much to decide in CFL playoff races

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It will be an interesting stretch run in the CFL's West Division.

Calgary (CFL-best 12-1-1 record) has already clinched a home playoff game. The Stampeders are off this week before visiting the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Oct. 13.

The defending West Division champions control their own destiny with a 17-game home win streak, league-best 5-1-1 road record and 7-0 conference mark. After facing Hamilton, Calgary concludes its regular season against Saskatchewan, Edmonton and Winnipeg.

What's really intriguing, though, is the race for second, third and fourth. Winnipeg (10-3) currently has a six-point cushion on Saskatchewan and Edmonton (both 7-6) with the B.C. Lions (6-7) fifth.

All four of those teams have five regular-season games remaining but Saskatchewan will play three East Division clubs (Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal). West Division squads are 24-5-1 against their Eastern counterparts this year.

In addition to playing Hamilton and Toronto, Winnipeg will face B.C. twice and Calgary. Edmonton, which has dropped six straight after opening the season 7-0, plays its next two games against Montreal and Toronto before finishing with B.C., Calgary and Saskatchewan.

The Riders' final two division games will be against Calgary and Edmonton. B.C. hosts Ottawa this week, then faces Winnipeg (twice) and Edmonton before finishing the regular season hosting Toronto.

Winnipeg, Edmonton, Saskatchewan and B.C. will all play three of their final games at home. That bodes well for the Bombers, who are 5-1 at Investors Group Field.

Toronto (7-7) holds a three-point lead over Ottawa (5-9-1) atop the East Division. The Argos play their final four regular-season games against Western clubs, hardly ideal considering they're 1-5 versus the West Division.

But Toronto has a game in hand on Ottawa, which faces B.C. and Saskatchewan before playing its regular-season finale Oct. 27 against Hamilton.

Amazingly, the third-place Ticats (3-10) remain in playoff contention. But losing 43-35 to Toronto in overtime on Saturday was costly as the win would've pulled Hamilton to within three points of Ottawa with two games in hand while also cementing the season series against the Argos.

Hamilton's next faces the CFL's top two teams (Winnipeg, Calgary) before finishing up with three East Division contests (Montreal, Ottawa, then Montreal again).

The CFL playoff picture could clear up dramatically this weekend.

Toronto can clinch a home playoff date with a win over Saskatchewan. An Argos win combined with an Ottawa loss or tie against B.C. would give the Argos top spot in the East and home-field advantage for the division final Nov. 19.

A Hamilton loss to Winnipeg would give Toronto a home playoff date regardless of how the Argos fared against Saskatchewan.

A Montreal loss to Edmonton on Monday, along with an Ottawa win over B. …

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