The Bruins and Oilers don't hook up very often. I have many questions. Fortunately, Sarah Connors of SB Nation's Stanley Cup of Chowder is able to calm me down.
Thanks to Sarah for her time. On with the question making.
Jeff Chapman: Defenceman Torey Krug looks like he's kind of a big deal. A cursory glance at his boxcars (8-10-18 in 31 GP) show that he's fourth on the team in points, and first among Bruins defencemen. This is a guy who I thought the Oilers might try to acquire as a prospect in exchange for Ryan Whitney, but he's really taken off so far this year. Where did this guy come from?
Sarah Connors: Krug is also second in points scored by a rookie. The Bruins signed him right out of Michigan State in 2011-2012...he was never drafted. I remember thinking it was weird at the time because he didn't get assigned to Providence, he was just signed and immediately thrown into NHL action - and he acquitted himself fine for those few games.
I have no idea how the Bruins found him. Their scouting staff seems to love college kids (we currently have zero prospects in the CHL, but a ton of NCAA guys in the pipeline) so I can only assume they'd had their eye on him for a while. How he wasn't drafted, I actually have no clue.
JC: Right behind Krug in points is Jarome Iginla (6-11-17 in 31 GP). At a chance to get a few digs in at Calgary, how important has his presence been to Boston? Is there a chance he re-signs in Boston after this season?
SC: I mean, the Bruins needed to fill the space left by Nathan Horton, and Iginla has slotted into that line with Krejci and Lucic pretty well. His point totals do leave a bit to be desired - then again, he's fifth on the team in scoring. Tyler Seguin aside, racking up points has never been the Bruins' specialty. I think there's a good chance he re-signs after this season, yes - probably not super long-term, since he'll be 37, but another year or two would be nice.
JC: Who's the biggest surprise on this team? Biggest disappointment?
SC: Both are actually products of the Tyler Seguin trade: the biggest surprise is easily Reilly Smith. Who is this kid? Where did he come from? He was supposed to just be the throw-in along with Eriksson, and yet here he is outscoring Loui 21-14, good enough for third on the team in points. And he's only 22! Ridiculous. On the flip side, the biggest disappointment is Loui Eriksson, especially now that he's hurt again. He's on his second concussion of the season, and even that aside, he's on pace to have his lowest points total since 2007.
The points total wouldn't worry me if that's all it was, though - he's good on defense and playing with Patrice Bergeron, that line can shut down anyone. It's the injuries that make him disappointing, and that's through no fault of his own, obviously.
4) The Oilers signed Andrew Ference to a four year deal with a no-movement clause this past summer. Who's done most of the heavy lifting to replace him in Boston? Hey, how many defencemen do you guys have over there? Can we get some?
SC: Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski made him obsolete over here. He's a good guy who will lead your team right, but hahaha four years, I'm so sorry. Don't get on us about defense, though - half of ours have been broken over the last few weeks! Boychuk was out with a sprained back, Dougie Hamilton didn't make it on this road trip due to a knee issue, and Adam McQuaid hurt himself falling behind the net. Boychuk has since returned, but we've had to rely a bit too much on Kevan Miller, AHL callup as of late. Although, I guess having defensive depth in the organization doesn't hurt. Do you want Adam McQuaid or Joe Morrow, perhaps? McQuaid was even Ference's d-partner here in Boston!
JC: The Bruins and Oilers don't hook up very often. Tell us about a player (or players) we ought to keep our eyes on.
SC: Ryan Spooner. He's a smaller guy, wears #51, and this is just his ninth NHL game. He's been touted as the Bruins' center of the future for a couple years now, and injuries to approximately half of the Bruins' forwards means he's finally getting a shot. His last few games have been quiet, although he did get his third assist last game on a Reilly Smith goal (seriously, that guy is great). He's looked increasingly comfortable in his role as an NHL player, and we're all hoping he has a breakout game soon.
Check out Sarah and the rest of the crew at Stanley Cup of Chowder.
Follow Sarah on Twitter @sarah_connors`