Hockey fans in the Tampa area will have an excellent chance to see some of the best women in the sport of hockey compete for the Isobel Cup as the Premier Hockey Federation brings the playoffs to the AdventHealth Center in Wesley Chapel. The entire league, which consists of six teams, will compete in the tournament that begins on March 25th (hey, that’s my sister’s birthday!) with the final taking place on March 28th.
If you’re not able to attend the games in person all of the games with be broadcast within the ESPN family of networks. The final will be on ESPN 2 at 9:00 p.m. on the 28th. All of the games leading up to the final will be streamed on ESPN+.
2022 Isobel Cup Playoff Schedule:
Friday March 25 – Preliminary Round
4:00 p.m. ET – 3rd Place vs 6th Place (ESPN+)
7:30 p.m. ET – 4th Place vs 5th Place (ESPN+)
Sunday March 27 - Semifinals
1:00 p.m. ET - 1st Place vs Lowest Remaining Seed (ESPN+)
4:30 p.m. ET – 2nd Place vs Highest Remaining Seed (ESPN+)
Monday March 28 - Final
9:00 p.m. ET – Winner of Semifinal 1 vs Winner of Semifinal 2 (ESPN2)
This is the first time in the league’s seven-year history that the playoffs are being held in a neutral site. The six-team league is based mostly in the northeast (Boston, Buffalo, Danbury, Newark) along with one Canadian team in Toronto and one in St. Paul, Minnesota. Montreal is joining the league next season with another team from an undetermined city joining in 2022-23.
Playing in a sunbelt state will be good exposure for the league as they try and continue to grow. The Center Ice facility is familiar with hosting talented women hockey players as it was the training home for the U.S. National Women’s team prior to the 2018 Olympics. They also hosted the 2017 Four Nations Cup in 2017.
Lightning / NHL News
Avalanche edge Lightning, 3-2 [Raw Charge]
Nikita Kucherov was back - that’s good!
The Lightning lost - that’s bad!
Colorado threw everything they had at Andrei Vasilevskiy while the Lightning tried to counterattack when they could. Stanley Cup match-up? Sure, why not.
A quick look at what goes on behind the scenes at a Tampa Bay Lightning home game. It takes a small village to produce all of the graphics, stats, and assorted hoopla that goes on off the ice.
Which ties in with the latest episode of The Bloc Party with Seth Kushner where he chats with in-game host Greg Wolf.
New Montreal head coach Marty St. Louis (wow that sounds weird) spoke about structure, systems, and why he’s not a huge fan of having players play in a strict system. I remember him speaking at his hall of fame induction press conference and he attributed the success he had due to the freedom the coaches allowed him to make in his reads. Yes, things start off with a little structure, but players should have the ability to adapt the play based on the read they make in the moment.
Dave Tippett relieved of coaching duties in Edmonton [Copper and Blue]
With the Oilers mired in a long slump, it was only a matter of time until Tippett would be ousted. For now Jay Woodcraft will coach the team with Dave Manson as an assistant until a permanent replacement can be found. Is there enough season left for Edmonton to turn things around under Woodcraft? Who knows?
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is quite used to coaching changes. He joined the league in 2011 and was coached by Tom Renney. In 2013 Ralph Krueger was his head coach. Krueger was followed by Dallas Eakins (2 seasons), Todd Nelson (1 season), Todd McLellan (4 seasons), Ken Hitchcock (1 season), Dave Tippett (3 seasons), and now Woodcraft. Not sure what the record for most head coaches a single player has played for in one organization, but he’s got to be getting close.
Coyotes to play at ASU Arena next season [NHL.com]
The Arizona Coyotes announced a multi-year deal that begins in the 2022-23 season and goes through the 2024-25 season to play their home games at Arizona State University’s multi-purpose arena in Tempe. While they are playing their games in the 5,000 seat arena there are plans to build a permanent home in a yet-to-be-determined location for the woebegone franchise.