Consider the Lightning's 2010-11 schedule one of the oddest we've seen.
The team plays 13 of its first 20 games on the road, as well as 10 of 15 games in November.
On the other hand, Tampa Bay plays 10 of 11 February games at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa and has a 12-game homestand, the longest in franchise history, from Jan. 23 through Feb. 25.
Talk about lopsided.
But that is the consequence of having a front office last season likely diverted by a pending ownership change during the schedule-making process, and going six weeks after the season without a general manager during a time when tweaks could have been made and changes requested.
There are 17 sets of back-to-back games. And if Tampa Bay needs a late push to make the playoffs, its final seven games, from March 29 through April 9, will be a stern test: at home against the Senators and Penguins, on the road against the Wild, Blackhawks and Sabres, home against the Panthers and at the Hurricanes.
Notable home games include the Oct. 9 season opener against the Thrashers and Feb. 17 against the Red Wings, Steve Yzerman's first matchup against his former team since becoming Lightning general manager.
The Penguins and superstar Sidney Crosby are here Oct. 27 and March 31, and the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks on March 9.