Some has been made about the Pens stats keepers "padding" the shots on goal totals and while I agree that weathering the storm and still being down 1-0 in Game 6 was big for Das Capital, I decided to examine things a little further*.
Yes, I understand that the Pens' 42 shots in Game 6 was eerily reminiscent of their total in Game 3, also played in Pittsburgh. But let's also remember, the Pens threw 42 on VC ice in Game 5. Shot totals from the other two games at Verizon? 36 shots each in Game 1 and 2. For the padding talk, they've actually got more SOG in 3 games here than at the Igloo (114 to 112). Let's face it, 37.7 shots allowed a game is a workable, nay justifiable concern, regardless of scorekeeper inflation.
But to attempt to establish a pattern, looking at the Pens/Flyers series, they averaged 33.3 shots a game against Philly (36.7 home shots to 30 road shots), and while the Pens might have been 18th in the league in the regular season at 29 shots a game, under Dan Bylsma, they averaged 33 shots (32.1 per home) the rest of the way, a pace that would have been 4th best in the league. Bylsma's had this team firing from all over the ice (with good reason considering Pittsburgh's place in the standings when he took over), and barring a surprise, this trend of a more active offense will continue into next year.
Scorekeeper pencils might go slap happy from time to time, but we've all paid particular attention to the games and have seen the defensive breakdowns by the Caps blueliners, and we know two things, whether we want to admit them or not:
a) There's some tightening that can be done.
b) For the sake of fans with heart issues, here's hoping it's done sooner rather than later.
*Examining = rudimentary math with a solar calculator and internet connection.