LIVESTREAM PPV: CFL – Hamilton Tiger-Cats @Edmonton Eskimos, June 22, 8p (10p EST, 4a June 23 CEST)

EDMONTON — The Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Edmonton Eskimos are two teams that put up impressive performances in Week 1, but received different results.

The Ticats opted to stay out west for the week after opening their season in Calgary against the Stampeders. The Tabbies held their own against last year’s Grey Cup finalists through most of the game, holding a narrow two-point lead after three quarters of play. However, the Stamps pounced on the Ticats in the last 15 minutes, racking up two touchdowns and eventually taking the match 28-14.

“Obviously as a team we need to limit mistakes,” assistant head coach Orlondo Steinauer told Ticats.ca. “We have to limit a few explosions on defence and maybe get more explosions on offence… We’re not focused on the past, but moving forward to Edmonton.”

The biggest news out of Tiger Town, and perhaps the CFL this week was the signing of veteran defensive back Delvin Breaux. The 28-year-old was a part of the Tabbies from 2013-2014 before traveling south of the border and playing three seasons with the New Orleans Saints of the NFL. The New Orleans native was considered a premier defensive back during his two-year stint with the Black and Gold, receiving a CFL All-Star nod in 2014.

There were some questions around if Breaux would be ready to play this week, but the “Breaux Show” appears good to go as he’s slated to start at boundary corner.

“I love this game, “ said Breaux. “This game has showed me a lot of how to work on my technique and my craft each and every day. That actually helped me when I was down in the NFL. To be back here in Tiger Town, it’s a blessing.”

Both Breaux, and his teammates, are happy to have him back on the field.

“Delvin’s one of those players where if you’re on the side with him, you don’t have to worry about anything else,” said linebacker Simoni Lawrence. “He’s a superstar player, and when you’ve got superstar players like that, it just makes your game level of play pick up higher. I’m a firm believer in competition, and better players just make everybody better.”

The Ticats will also receive a boost on offence with the return of Terrence Toliver to the lineup. The 29-year-old has not played since the beginning of last season after suffering a knee injury on the first play from scrimmage when the Ticats opened their 2017 season.

Toliver led the Ticats in touchdowns in 2016 and recorded 1,036 receiving yards.

Breaux’s signing and Toliver’s return comes just in time as the Ticats now find themselves on the back end of a tough two-game Alberta road swing against the Edmonton Eskimos.

The Esks are back at home after starting their season on the road with a 33-30 win against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. In a marathon game that went into the early hours of the following day because of two lengthy weather delays, Sean Whyte notched a field goal with seconds left on the clock to lift the Eskimos to victory.

Derel Walker was outstanding, racking up 176 receiving yards and a touchdown. Last year’s CFL Most Outstanding Player Mike Reilly picked up where he left off, throwing for 408 yards with one touchdown pass, two rushing majors, and one interception.

Reilly says that his team is anxious to put on a show in the first game of 2018 at Commonwealth Stadium.

“Playing in front of the home crowd is always awesome,” Reilly told Esks.com. “The first pre-season game seems like it was a really long time ago, because it was. To be able to get back in front of our crowd for the first time as the 2018 Eskimos, our actual team, not just a pre-season roster, is great.”

Former Ticat CJ Gable will face off against the Black and Gold for the first time since being traded to the Eskimos late last year. The 30-year-old spent almost five seasons with the Ticats, and was named a CFL East Division All-Star in 2013 and 2016.

“I think he’s going to be up for it,” said Esks head coach Jason Maas. “C.J.’s a great football player. He’s a pro. He’s ready to play every week. We’ve only seen it once in practice where he’s gotten real emotional and it was pretty outstanding day for him in practice. I’m very excited to see him fired up and emotionally ready to play. I think he’s looking forward. I think we’re all looking forward to his performance.”

The Eskimos will be without some key players from last week and appear to have been bitten early by the injury bug. Linebacker Adam Konar, defensive lineman Mike Moore, offensive lineman Tommie Draheim, and receiver Vidal Hazelton, who all started last week, have been placed on the Esks’ six-game injured list.

“At the end of the day, you don’t want to have anybody hurt,” said Maas. “Any time you’re getting these kinds of players hurt, this number, you look at everything… There’s lots of stuff that is out of our control.”

Can the Eskimos overcome their early season injuries and start the season 2-0, or will the Ticats end their western road trip with a win?

Crunchin’ Numbers:

2 – Number of Ticats receivers (Mike Jones and Jalen Saunders) that caught for over 100 yards last week.

5 – The number of times Hamilton’s defence stopped Calgary from getting a touchdown while in the red zone last week.

10 – The Eskimos have made 20 or more first downs in each of their last 10 regular season games.

481 – Yards of net offence for the Edmonton Eskimos last week, the most by any team in Week 1.

The Esks appear to be the favourites heading into Friday night, and history supports that theory.

The Eskimos are 7-3-0 in their last 10 home openers and have beaten the Ticats in the last three meetings between the two teams.

Here’s to hoping the skies will stay clear this time as two of the more exciting offensive teams in the CFL could make some serious thunder.

– With files from Ticats.ca/Esks.com

AFI, Yare Media and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Yare Media and the Canadian Football League to present 2018 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the top flight TSN network television broadcast.

LIVE STREAM: CFL – Hamilton Tiger-Cats @Edmonton Eskimos, June 22, 8p (10p EST, 4a June 23 CEST)

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