Welcome to the newest installment on Copper and Blue's gameday coverage, Three Questions. In Three Questions, we invade the privacy of other SB Nation's blogs and harass them until they spill all the beans about their team.
Okay, not quite; but what we are trying to do is give Oilers fans a look inside the other team prior to the matchup later that evening.
As we prepare to play the Flames, I had a chance to chat with Ari Yanover, saltysyd and ctibs from Matchsticks and Gasoline about their hockey team.
C&B: Calgary has come out of the gate with a 1-2 record and fresh injuries to TJ Brodie, Lance Bouma and Joe Colbourne which won’t help moving forward. What’s the general feeling of how this team with hold up moving forward?
M&G: The only injury that has a significant impact on the team is Brodie, and there's a lot of excitement for his return (especially if he, combined with Brett Kulak's play, hopefully forces Deryk Engelland out of the lineup). Without him the defence has looked passable at best, but once he's back (which will hopefully be early in the season), the top three will be a force.
Luckily, the Flames have other forwards that can mostly make up for the absence of Bouma and Colborne. Some fans like the big guys, while some get migraines watching them; overall, though, neither is what you could consider essential personnel for the Flames.
C&B: The acquisition of Dougie Hamilton was arguably the biggest move any team made this offseason. How has he looked playing alongside Mark Giordano?
M&G: Hamilton fits right in with the way the Flames play defence. He's not afraid to jump into the play, and he's got size. That said, he's had his ups and down with Giordano, but they've been getting better and better as the games go on. Giordano is probably better with Brodie, his regular partner of the past two seasons, though. That said, while Giordano and Hamilton are still a pairing, facing the Oilers should be a confidence booster.
C&B: Do you think the Flames can keep up with the outstanding season they had last year, or do you think we will see regression out of this team?
M&G: It really depends on how Hartley performs. Despite the acquisitions of Michael Frolik and Dougie Hamilton, he still chooses to stick with the players who don't have good underlying numbers. He's wasted time with Mikael Backlund on the fourth line for no reason, and Brandon Bollig has played more games than Josh Jooris. Basically, Bob Hartley needs to know how to use the tools Brad Treliving has given him to avoid regression. He has the Flames playing a passive style, and unless they replicate unsustainable shooting percentages, it's not going to pay off.