Disclaimer: This is an arbitrary system that works in a vaccuum and doesn't take into account things like player tendencies or team systems. Also, I've been on these boards for about two years now, but don't really comment because I take too long to post and the moment has past. I love it here, though!
Chemistry is very difficult to quantify, especially insofar as the Olympics are concerned, but here's a shot at it.
For the purposes of this post, I'm assuming that the closest point of comparison to Crosby and Kunitz on the same line for Team Canada is Sharp and Toews. I'm also assuming James Neal would be in the top 20 in the league in scoring if he had played in more games (given his P/G, this projection isn't unreasonable). I'm also rounding to the nearest whole number, as this system is somewhat arbitrary and decimals don't really help.
- Chris Kunitz has scored 23 goals so far this season. 43% of them have come directly from the stick of Crosby. 65% have come from the stick of a top-20 scorer (Malkin + Crosby + Neal).
- Patrick Sharp has scored 25 goals. Only 20% have come directly from Toews. 52% of those have come directly from a top-20 scorer (Toews, Kane, Keith).
- Crosby has scored 23 goals. 26% have come directly from Kunitz. 48% have come from Malkin + Neal + Kunitz.
- Toews has scored 15 goals. 26% have come directly from Sharp. 60% have come from Sharp + Kane + Keith.
- Crosby and Kunitz have combined for 46 goals. 35% have been directly off the other's stick.
- Toews and Sharp have combined for 40 goals. 23% have been directly off the other's stick.
- The Hawks have scored 163 goals. 25% are from Toews and Sharp, 5% are a direct result of their chemistry.
- Pens have scored 139 goals. 33% are from Crosby and Kunitz, 11% are a direct result of their chemistry.
- Projected over this 82 game season then, the Crosby/Kunitz pairing should produce approximately 30 goals as a direct result of their chemistry, whereas the Toews/Sharp pairing would provide 16.
If we include goals where the player's linemate had the secondary assist (for which I've used a 0.5 multiplier to acknowledge their somewhat controversial nature), we add 8 more goals for the Hawks and 9 more for the Penguins. So, using a rudimentary system, and extrapolated over these 82 games, we get the following.
Kunitz is heavily dependent on the talent surrounding him. This could be seen as a slight, but it's also notable that his play style is well suited to pairing with world class talent. His chemistry with Crosby produces more than twice the percentage of the Pen's total offense than Sharp and Toews do for the Hawks.
Sharp is less dependent on those surrounding him, generating significantly more offense without Toews than Kunitz without Crosby. His chemistry with Toews, however, produces less total offense percentage-wise for his team.
The Penguins need Crosby and Kunitz together more than the Hawks need Toews and Sharp together.
Kunitz is a much more controversial pick than Sharp for team Canada, but offensively his partnership with Crosby could (and should) provide more total offense than the comparable pair from the Hawks.