A cliche as old as hockey itself is "if you want goals, go to the front of the net". Other than "blame the goalie!" it might be the oldest one around. With that in mind, let's check out where the goals are going in for Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz, linemates who've scored 15 and 16 goals, respectively so far this season.
Those 31 combined goals, by the way, are second most by a pair of teammates so far this season (with St. Louis's Alex Steen (20) and David Backes (13) being the only pair to combine for more).
Chart is the handywork of our own Mike Darnay. Click to enlarge.
The chart is not surprising, but it is nice to see it illustrated. 14 of Kunitz's 16 goals on the season have come from in between the circles and below the faceoff dots. 9 of Crosby's 15 have as well, with six coming from further out shots, which makes sense being as Crosby has a better shot, is usually positioned out further from the net on power plays and usually shoots from afar.
We've lobbied for Kunitz's case for Team Canada, and if he keeps filling the net, he'll keep making that case for himself. Currently Kunitz's 16 goals are tied for 3rd in the league, tied with fellow Canadian winger Corey Perry. 30 points puts Kunitz currently 9th (tied with some guys named Alex Ovechkin and Henrik Zetterberg) in the league there.
For all the skill Canada can trot out, I'm not sure they have too many forwards that are willing and capable at working in front of the net quite like Kunitz. And, as the chart above illustrates, there sure aren't any with the track-record of producing with Sidney Crosby like Kunitz has been for several years now. All those dots above are a pretty sight for Penguins fans, and they might be enough to get Kunitz onto Team Canada.