For all the good that Sidney Crosby's incredible vision and unique playmaking skills are doing for Chris Kunitz's production this season, the Pittsburgh Penguins captain said he is the one who has become a more reliable and complete player as a result of following the lead of his linemate.
Left Wing - PIT
GOALS: 17 | ASST: 19 | PTS: 36
SOG: 59 | +/-: 21
Call him humble if you want, but this isn't Crosby just tossing out a benign complement. Kunitz means too much to him for that.
"With any teammate, you want to make sure you're accountable to him," Crosby told NHL.com. "He [Kunitz] is going in on the forecheck and creating loose pucks, so if I'm the first one in I want to make sure I'm doing the same thing. You build that trust.
"He's just so dependable and that's contagious. When a guy is that responsible, you want to make sure you're following that up."
Entering their game Tuesday against the Boston Bruins (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN), Crosby and Kunitz are the most productive duo in the National Hockey League this season because the chemistry and trust they have in one another is matching their combined skill and drive. It never was more evident than in Pittsburgh's 6-1 win against the New York Islanders on Sunday, when they each had five points, including a hat trick for Kunitz -- with Crosby assisting on all three goals.