Has Don Matthews lost it?


The CFL consensus is that, yes, he has lost it — his winning touch, that is. And it may not be long before he also loses his job.


Matthews, who has more victories than any head coach in CFL history, raised eyebrows before his Alouettes faced the Lions in B.C. on Saturday night because he decided to make personnel changes to his offensive line.


The line had allowed 15 sacks in 11 games before meeting the Lions.


Well, against the Lions, Montreal quarterbacks Anthony Calvillo and Nealon Greene were sacked a mind-boggling 12 times as the revamped O-line was about as solid as a toasted marshmallow.

The result: A fifth consecutive loss for the Als.

The consensus: The Als must defeat Winnipeg on Sunday or Matthews may be replaced, possibly by general manager Jim Popp.

• Scoring in the NHL increased significantly last season, thanks to rule changes, but look for even more goals in the coming season, thanks to a rule changed last week.

The NHL approved a maximum curvature of stick blades to three-quarters of an inch, up from a half-inch. And Washington star Alexander Ovechkin, for one, is certain the increase will help him and other Europeans immeasurably.

“I probably would have had 60 goals last season (instead of 52) if I had more curve,” Ovechkin says. “We all grew up with three-quarter-inch curves. It was allowed in Europe. Now, you’ll see more goals from us. Wait and see.”

• Pete Rose has come up with a new way to increase his income. He’s signed baseballs with this inscription: “I’m sorry I bet on baseball — Pete Rose.” He’s charging $1,000 US a ball ... The Blue Jays will unload Bengie Molina, so they’ll need a catcher, and Philadelphia’s Mike Lieberthal will be available because the Phillies have no intention of keeping him ... When ex-Jay and ex-Phillie Cory Lidle returns to the Yankees from his finger injury, he’ll be in the bullpen, not the starting rotation ... Shawn Kemp, 36, keeps hoping (praying?) to come back in the NBA. Now he’s trying out with Chicago ... The Eskimos not only are bad, but dirty, as illustrated by a kick to the head of the Tiger-Cats’ Brock Ralph by A.J. Gass on the final play of Edmonton’s loss in Hamilton Saturday ... Weirdest NFL play on the weekend: Tampa Bay quarterback Chris Simms firing a six-yard pass way over the head of an open Ike Hilliard. I mean, Manute Bol wouldn’t have been able to get his hands on that pass if he were standing on the shoulders of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.