It's only the 2nd time that the Isles will reach the season's midpoint before the turning of the New Year. In 1982-83, the Isles played game 40 on December 26 in Hartford, and game 41 on New Year's Eve in Buffalo. (That was an 80-game schedule)
This is the fourth time that the NHL has suspended their season to allow players to participate in the Olympics. Game 41 came in those seasons on January 2, 1998, January 6, 2002 and January 7, 2006..
The Isles played these 41 games in 88 days, which actually matches last season's pace. (The Isles opened on October 10th last sason and October 3rd this season) It's also the same pace that was used to play the first 41 games of the 1995 lockout season. The Isles have played their first 41 games in a faster pace only once -- 85 days in 1980-81.
This season will end earlier than any of the previous Olympic seasons, with the final regular season game being played on April 11th (April 18th in both 1998 and 2006, April 14th in 2002).
Finally, in the "this doesn't mean anything but it's kind of strange department", the Isles have closed the first half with a loss in each of the last four seasons.. and in 10 of the last 12.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: forever1940.blogspot.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick