Daccord: "That one's on me" in a tough 3-2 loss at Florida

Seattle Kraken v Carolina Hurricanes

Photo: Jaylynn Nash / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

A fluke game winning goal by Nick Cousins spoiled an otherwise tremendous outing for Joey Daccord, starting his third game in a row, in a 3-2 loss for the Seattle Kraken to the Florida Panthers before 16,780 fans at Amerant Bank Arena on Saturday. 

Cousins scored on an errant ricochet off the supportive stanchions along the glass, after the Panthers intended to merely dump the puck into the Kraken zone. Daccord, reading the play to corral the puck behind the net, vacated his net which allowed Cousins to take the loose puck and easily deposit it into the net, putting the Panthers ahead with 5:52 to go. 

The Kraken fell to 1-1-1 on their three game road trip, well in position to beat the Panthers for the third straight season in Florida with a 2-0 lead until Gustav Forsling and Matthew Tkachuk strung a pair of goals together in just 11 seconds in the second period. 

Daccord made 32 stops and Sergei Bobrovsky got the win in net with 30 saves. 

Tampa Bay will host the final game of the trip, Monday at 4pm PT (93.3 KJR / Kraken Audio Network). 

Three takeaways from the game: 

1.     No excuses from Joey Daccord, who still deserved better. Playing hockey at an elite, world class level is hard. That perspective allows focus into the skill set of Daccord, who has risen up the ranks and cracked the Kraken opening night roster as an athletic goaltender, graduating from the AHL with supreme puck handling ability. 

That trait in particular allows the Kraken to vacate their own zone at an even faster rate, using Daccord’s strengths to feed their own transition game through the neutral zone. It’s not a novelty. From Martin Brodeur to Marty Turco to present day in the likes of Tristan Jarry, puck handling goaltenders are a luxury, and an added weapon. They will roam, they will play the puck, and more often than not, they are successful.

But what happened for Daccord, looking to carve his own role in the NHL with a similar skill set, was a tough lesson in risk – especially in a tie game where mistakes can be magnified, no matter how rare they may be (especially dump-ins, which often wind up on a goaltender's stick like Daccord's, instead of popping in front of an open net). The result was a catastrophic breakdown of a play that would ultimately make the difference, leaving the Kraken to defend their netminder in spite of what was a rock solid 35 save effort, and a third period where they owned a 60% shot quality at five-on-five situations.

“Their last goal was a very lucky bounce off a stanchion,” said Jared McCann. 

“He deserved better.” 

Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol agreed, too.

"It stinks to have a bounce like that be the deciding factor in the game winning goal," said Hakstol. "It's one that, as a younger goaltender, Joey will learn from that. But it's still a bad bounce, for a guy who's played really well on the night."

Daccord though offered zero excuses. 

“That one’s on me,” said Daccord. “I should have stayed in the net, late in the game, tie game. The stanchions are pretty bouncy and they stick out a lot. Just an unfortunate bounce. I should have stayed in the net and given myself a chance to make a save.” 

It’s likely Daccord, who will need to balance the starting workload in a demanding schedule with Philipp Grubauer, will get many more chances to make up for it. On the road trip, Daccord has a save percentage of .912, stopping 104 of 114 shots, an above average clip for NHL goaltenders. 

2.     Two-goal leads can’t be precious enough. They are a sign of progress, as Jared McCann and Eeli Tolvanen built a 2-0 lead into the second period, but an indication that a game isn’t yet in the bank. The Kraken were reminded of that in “hard way” fashion when it only took 11 seconds for the Panthers to clip together a pair of goals, turning a game that was so close being a runaway victory into a photo-finish all the way until Cousins’ third period dose of off-the-glass divine intervention. 

Special teams and face-offs played a pivotal role. Florida’s power play, just 3-of-24 entering the game, delivered a blast from the point by Gustav Forsling to make the game interesting and the deficit at 2-1. Then on the next face-off in the Kraken zone, Florida’s face-off win set up Dmitry Kulikov’s blast, another errant bounce that pinballed behind Daccord - but was another lesson in prevention alternatively with a Kraken face-off win and clear of the zone. 

“They won more face-offs in that zone than we did,” said Dave Hakstol. “We didn’t break out cleanly enough. Credit their pressure, a little bit, for that.” 

3.     The Kraken could use more of Eeli Tolvanen's offense, who finally got on the board. Dave Hakstol once said players can find useful ways to contribute, if they’re not scoring goals, by contributing with small details. Face-off wins, blocked shots, winning a puck battle are a few starters. Eeli Tolvanen could have used a goal on Saturday night. He got one – not with his trademark blistering shot – but by setting up at the front of the Panthers net - and in the face of fire, deflecting Jaden Schwartz’s shot past Bobrovsky at 7:34. 

Tolvanen also led the Kraken with four hits. We’ll see if this can break the levee in his offense, well-known for his prolific shot from the wings.  

“Felt great,” said Tolvanen. “Everybody wants to score early in the season. I felt like last couple of games I wasn’t getting that many scoring chances. It was nice to get the first one out of the way.”

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