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Calgary's Johnny Forzani, left, scored his first two CFL touchdowns against the Montreal Alouettes on Saturday. ((Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press))

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

1. WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 7-1
Streak: Five wins

When you are suddenly running with the big boys, the paradigm changes. Minnows are all about winning regular season games, no matter how badly they might have played. The big boys are about winning Grey Cups, and this Bomber team can do that. So let’s get to work on why the Cats were able to hold the defence to just one sack and throw for 350 yards. Bombers should have lost this one, and they know it. Coach Paul LaPolice was grumpy this weekend after beating Hamilton. That’s good. Winning coaches are grumpy coaches.
2. CALGARY STAMPEDERS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 6-2
Streak: Four wins

Great game between two excellent teams as the Stamps beat the Als. When you are old enough to remember Tom Forzani as a rookie (1973), it’s a little chagrining to see his son Johnny grab his first two touchdown passes in the CFL. How about defensive end Robert McCune, formerly employed by the United States Army, giving a half time speech that sent the White Stallions galloping out to dominate the second 30 minutes? The last three of those were spine tingling as the Stamps eventually forced Anthony Calvillo into a rare interception to wrap things up.
3. MONTREAL ALOUETTES [Unchanged]
Overall record: 5-3
Streak: One loss

For the first time in a while it’s possible the East final may not be in the Olympic Stadium at Montreal. The Als are now four points back of upstart Winnipeg in the race to the regular-season wire and home field advantage. Calvillo’s late interception is what happens sometimes when a Hall of Fame QB meets a hard-charging defence, so no long-term worries there. Injuries, however, continue to be a concern. Cornerback Mark Estelle looks to be out for quite a while with an injury, and that makes a vulnerable pass defence even more so. Corners are darn hard to replace and the Als have lost two of them.
4. HAMILTON TIGER-CATS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 4-4
Streak: One loss

Well, well, didn’t those kitties show up with their claws sharpened and ready for a back alley brawl with the Blue Bombers? Didn’t win, but they sure showed they can compete. Next goal is a little consistency, especially on defence where the secondary just has to be strengthened. Fortunately, NFL cuts begin in earnest this week, so bodies can be found. Cats lost to the Bombers due to a couple of really dumb errors, but that can be fixed. Hamilton goes back-to-back with Montreal now and needs a split.
5. EDMONTON ESKIMOS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 5-3
Streak: Three losses

Here’s the recipe moving forward. Get healthy, especially in the receiving corps and the offensive line. Don’t get your shorts in a knot about the three losses that should really have been four. Keep rebuilding properly. Shoot for a surprise playoff appearance. No team in the CFL is in a better spot than the Esks, who shocked everyone with five straight wins to start the season and bought a lot of good will. Worry about taking care of longer term business, especially increasing the depth and Canadian content. Back-to-back with red-hot Calgary is daunting, yes, but don’t forget the goal is to be a contender every year for seasons to come.
6. B.C. LIONS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 2-6
Streak: One win

Last season at this very moment the Lions took off on a hot run that turned a 1-7 start into an eight-win season, plus playoff spot. Doing it again means the Leos must continue the outstanding defensive effort shown against Edmonton. Coach and GM Wally Buono has to straighten this thing out because he may be gone, his hand-picked successor Mike Benevides will be gone as defensive boss, offensive coordinator Jacques Chapdelaine will be gone (that would make a lot of Lions’ fans happy) and so would a bunch of the players. Now or never.
7. TORONTO ARGONAUTS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 2-6
Streak: One win

While everyone else disappeared for the bye week, Orlondo Steinauer came back early to begin working on new schemes for the defence. The just-promoted coordinator can become an instant local hero if he can get the defence back to where it was last season (excellent) and give Toronto a chance at a playoff spot. Argos actually are just a point behind the final post-season berth in the West, if you can believe it, and play two-win B.C. back-to-back followed by a game in Saskatchewan against a club they’ve just beaten.
8. SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS [Unchanged]
Overall record: 1-7
Streak: Four losses

Can you just see the first chat between new/old coach Ken Miller and his team? “OK folks, there’s no need to panic now …” Of course not, management’s already panicked for you by firing Greg Marshall after just eight games in his first year. There were 11 guys who caught passes for the Chicago Bears in a Saturday NFL exhibition game, and none of them were Andy Fantuz, so there might be some good news on the horizon. Back-to-back with the red-hot Winnipeg Blue Bombers will show right away if the Riders’ problem is the coaching, or the roster.