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Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Fred Reid, centre, runs for an eight-yard gain as B.C. Lions' Solomon Elimimian holds on to bring him down. (The Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck)

Once a week, Malcolm Kelly breaks down the balance of power in the Canadian Football League:

1. WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 6-1
Streak: Four wins

Same crushing defence (four sacks). A little less swagger. Had to love it. A defensive line now facing injury troubles didn’t really affect the play against the clawless Lions, though Hamilton might offer more of a challenge in two weeks, after the bye. Offensively there is some worry, as Buck Pierce was good against B.C. but there was almost nothing gained on the ground. Average offence will take this club a long way this year, it seems, but it does have to produce consistent points.
2. CALGARY STAMPEDERS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 5-2
Streak: Three wins

This is what an evening ride on a beautiful White Stallion looks like. By the time the Stampeders shut it down against the Riders into the fourth quarter on Friday night, they were far ahead, had done only a few things wrong, and looked every bit the best team in the West. The defence is bending, but not breaking, very nicely. QB Henry Burris is on a streak of Smilin’ Hank strong outings. Calgary is 4-0 in those ugly away game black helmets, by the way.
3. MONTREAL ALOUETTES [Up from 4]
Overall record: 5-2
Streak: Two wins

First thought: Wasn’t that nice of B.C. GM Wally Buono to trade kicker Sean Whyte to the Als for a 1st round draft pick? He’s only 19 of 20 on field goals. Anthony Calvillo wasn’t his sharpest against Edmonton, but still threw two TDs and picked up 261 yards. The defence was at its swarming best, sacking Ricky Ray six times, forcing three fumbles and allowing nothing on the ground.
4. HAMILTON TIGER-CATS [Up from 5]
Overall record: 4-3
Streak: One win

You know you’re a fortunate cat when you give up over 500 yards in offence to the visitors and win anyway. Eight lives left. That wasn’t Montreal’s attack picking apart the Hamilton defence on Saturday, it was the Argos, so perhaps a second or third look at the schemes this week might be in order. No sacks. No interceptions. On the other paw, the offence was sharp, even if they were attacking a pretty defenceless foe.
5. EDMONTON ESKIMOS [Down from 3]
Overall record: 5-2
Streak: Two losses

QB Ricky Ray is such a brave man, running around like that with the weight of an entire defence bearing down on his shoulders. After five good outings from his offensive line, they leaked badly for the second straight week, allowing six sacks (10 in two games) and endless hurries. There’s some good news. Jason Barnes (128 yards on six grabs) did good work making up for the loss of Fred Stamps. But this offence produced one (1) yard rushing. On seven carries. The Als knew what was coming all night.
6. SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS [Up from 7]
Overall record: 1-6
Streak: Three losses

This Swiss-style defence isn’t working for me. Pretty much anything the Stampeders wanted to do against the secondary they were able to. Cornerbacks are really being taken advantage of. Shame, because there are some nice things going on with the offence, including running back Hugh Charles, who had three touchdowns and 154 combined yards. Efraim Hill caught 11 balls for 177 yards. Turnovers at the wrong time were killers, especially that 114 yard pick-6.
7. TORONTO ARGONAUTS [Up from 8]
Overall record: 1-6
Streak: Six losses

Death by a thousand mistakes. A missed Noel Prefontaine chip shot followed a bad time-count violation by QB Cleo Lemon. And a fumble by Brandon Rideau took away a last chance shot for a win. This had been a nice outing from the Toronto offence, including a trio of touchdown tosses by Lemon, who really does seem to be getting it in this his second CFL season. Then there’s that defence. New coordinator Orlondo Steinauer has a lot of work to do, though they were a lot more aggressive against Hamilton and that helped a bit.
8. B.C. LIONS [Down from 6]
Overall record: 1-6
Streak: One loss

Could … somebody … please … hold … onto … the … freaking … football! Four fumbles and a pick just isn’t good enough. This game must have just killed our commentator Ice Pick. Example: Winnipeg’s Fred Reid scampers 44 yards on a little dump pass to the B.C. one. Five guys had a chance at him and missed. The Lions did such a good job shutting Reid down all game otherwise but just one play was so painful. Arland Bruce caught four balls in his debut. Fumbled once.