Peter Laviolette had a look of both bemusement and exasperation when the issue was raised - yet again.
The issue was how the Flyers have struggled coming out of extended breaks since he succeeded John Stevens as head coach on Dec. 4, 2009. The breaks in question were for the Olympic Games last season; the break around the Christmas holidays this season; and the recent break for the NHL All-Star Game.
Armed with statistics, Laviolette disputed the notion the Flyers have fallen off after those breaks and seemed puzzled about why the perception persists.
Following a seven-day layoff between games in late December, the Flyers opened a five-game road trip with a 6-2 loss to Vancouver, the league's current overall points leader. After the recent break for the All-Star Game, the Flyers lost at Tampa Bay, 4-0.
"Yes, I will agree the game in Vancouver we didn't play very well," Laviolette said Sunday. The Flyers, who play Carolina Thursday at the Wells Fargo Center, didn't practice Monday.
"I don't know if you want to call it extenuating circumstances, going out to the West Coast and not playing for a whole bunch of days," he said. "The game down in Tampa, we outshot them, 40-20, lost the game, and nobody's happy about it.
"Short of that, I looked into it. Our record coming out of the breaks, based on the last three breaks we've had - 25 or so odd games - we're probably in the neighborhood 19-5-1, so I'm not sure I'm going to buy into this whole break theory. That's just me, though."
It's not certain how Laviolette came to a 19-5-1 record. On the other hand, there's evidence that the perception the Flyers have struggled coming out of extended layoffs is exaggerated.
Taken in 10-game segments, the Flyers went 5-3-2 following last season's break for the Olympic Games, and 7-3 after the layoff in late December. They are 2-1 since the all-star break. Overall, that makes them a combined 14-7-2 following the three breaks for 30 of a possible 46 points. That's a .652 winning percentage. The Flyers, currently No. 2 in the overall points standings, have 75 of a possible 106 points, which is a .708 winning percentage.
By those measuring sticks, the Flyers didn't struggle following the breaks.
Of course, one can make statistics dance to any tune. Go beyond the 10-game segment following the Olympics, the Flyers went 4-7-1 the remainder of the regular season. They squeaked into the playoffs then made a run to the Stanley Cup Finals.
But extend beyond the 10-game segment following Christmas, the Flyers are 5-2.
The conclusion? Laviolette overstated his case a bit. Nonetheless, the numbers bolster his argument.
Grand and grand. Laviolette on Tuesday will present a Flyers jersey to Paulsboro wrestling coach Paul Morina to commemorate Paulsboro's 1,000th wrestling victory. On Wednesday, Paulsboro became the first team on the East Coast and just the third in the country to win 1,000 matches.
A week earlier, the Flyers won their 1,000th home game.
Loose pucks. The Flyers highest-scoring line, with Scott Hartnell and Ville Leino centered by Danny Briere, has a combined 118 points on 56 goals and 62 assists. . . . Defenseman Kimmo Timonen leads the Flyers with 109 blocked shots, and Darroll Powe leads with 128 hits.