Sunday 13 November 2011

Preview: East Division Semi-Final

Storylines aplenty for the first playoff clash between Hamilton and Montreal since 2001.

There is Avon Cobourne going back to Montreal; the Kevin Glenn-Quinton Porter situation, which is not that big of a deal, we know Glenn will start and be given every chance to succeed; and the complete collapse by Montreal over the final three games. Then you add Stevie Baggs missing the game due to ration issues and it makes things even more interesting.

But no matter what people talk about prior to the game, only 60 minutes truly matter.

For Hamilton, they need to do two things to come away with a victory. First, the Defense needs to pressure Anthony Calvillo. Teams that have done that this year have had tremendous success. The Tabbies also have to slow down Jamell Richardson and Brandon Whitaker, but making Calvillo's life miserable is the most important, and that will have a trickle-down effect on Richardson and Whitaker.

Secondly, the Offense, and particularly Kevin Glenn, needs to get into a rhythm early. Getting the running game going is important, but the passing game needs to be crisp. If Hamilton's Offense can click from the get go, the Cats will have more than a puncher's chance of winning this game.

The first 15 minutes of this game will decide the outcome. Whichever team wins the first quarter wins the game. It will be important for both teams to get out to an early lead. These two teams are evenly matched, and the one that starts the hottest will pull out the victory.

Hamilton has played, and lost, two very close playoff games in the last two years while Montreal has blown out the last two teams to visit Montreal in the post-season. In this game, something will have to give.

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