B.C. Lions’ Keon Hatcher (4) fails to make the reception in the end zone as Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Brandon Alexander (37) defends and Desmond Lawrence (46) watches during the first half of CFL football game in Vancouver, on Saturday, October 15, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. Lions’ Keon Hatcher (4) fails to make the reception in the end zone as Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Brandon Alexander (37) defends and Desmond Lawrence (46) watches during the first half of CFL football game in Vancouver, on Saturday, October 15, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

THE MOJ: Lions hosting playoff game at BC Place not the slam dunk you might think

As for the Canucks tough start, it’s three games people

The B.C. Lions 40-32 victory against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers last Saturday obviously put the Leos in a good position to finish in second place in the CFL’s Western Division.

But it’s not a slam dunk, despite the fact their magic number is one.

Yes, one B.C. win against either Edmonton or Winnipeg in their two remaining games will guarantee a playoff game at B.C. Place Stadium for the first time since 2016 even if Calgary wins their home-and-home set versus Saskatchewan.

At first glance, a win at Commonwealth Stadium shouldn’t be that difficult against an Edmonton team that has a dismal 4-13 won-loss record, but as you know, we like to look a little deeper.

To start, it’s the Elks last game of the season and this will be their Grey Cup, so don’t expect them to go through the motions. Then you have this 16-game home losing streak that Edmonton head coach Chris Jones and his players are sick of answering questions about. The last time Edmonton won at Commonwealth was against the Lions on October 12th, 2019. A win to snap the streak would be a nice way to end the season for Jones and company.

And while we are on the topic of streaks, the Lions haven’t won at Commonwealth Stadium in their last eight visits. They last time they flew home with a ‘W’ was on July 13, 2013 when they won 17-3.

If the Lions falter, they would go into Winnipeg the following week possibly needing a win. Yes, the Bombers will continue to rest their players but expect most of their starters – including quarterback Zach Collaros – to play at least a half.

Of course, the game in Winnipeg becomes inconsequential if B.C. wins in Edmonton or Calgary loses to Saskatchewan in Regina on Saturday. But if the Stamps win this weekend, the Roughriders hopes of crossing over into the east will come to an end.

Looking ahead to the rematch the following Saturday in Calgary, it has a Stamps win written all over it should the Lions fail in Edmonton and the game still matter to Calgary. The Stampeders will have something to play for while the Roughriders will be on the bus by half time.

The magic number is one but it’s not going to be as easy as some suggest.

*****

I love the start of a new season – especially when it comes to the overreaction of fans and media alike whether it be in a positive or negative manner.

Point in case was the reaction to the Canucks third period meltdown in Washington on Monday in which they surrendered four goals in blowing a 4-2 lead and losing 6-4 in the process.

The defeat came on the heels of losses in Edmonton and Philadelphia in which they also blew leads of 3-0 and 2-0 respectively, and in the process, became the first NHL team in history to open the season with three losses in which they gave up multi-goal leads.

If this would have occurred in the middle of the season, it would have been an ugly blip. But with it being the only body of work the team has to date, social media almost melted down with Canucks fans losing their collective minds on Monday night.

The same team people loved so much a few days ago heading into the season is the same one in which they are willing to blow up after three games.

Yes, it’s an ugly start but it’s three games. If it’s like this after 20 games, well then that’s a different story.

Veteran B.C. sports personality Bob “the Moj” Marjanovich writes twice weekly for Black Press Media. And check out his weekly podcast every Monday at Today in B.C. or your local Black Press Media website.

THE MOJ: Canucks adopt philosophy of making a good offence their best defence

PODCAST: Bob Marjanovich with Cliff Ronning

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