Grubauer illness summons Kraken recall of goaltender Joey Daccord

Seattle Kraken v Calgary Flames

CALGARY, CANADA - NOVEMBER 1: Trevor Lewis #22 of the Calgary Flames takes a shot on Joey Daccord #35 of the Seattle Kraken during the third period of an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on November 1, 2022 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Kraken defeated the Flames 5-4. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)Photo: Getty Images

Goaltender Joey Daccord was recalled to the Seattle Kraken on Monday from the American Hockey League affiliate Coachella Valley Firebirds.

The move is under emergency conditions, typically reserved for transactions when roster numbers plummet beneath sufficient levels, depending on position. In this case, the Kraken only had one goaltender, Martin Jones, available due to illness that knocked Philipp Grubauer out of the second period in Saturday’s 6-4 loss to Edmonton. 

No update has been made available yet on the timetable for Grubauer’s recovery. 

Logistically, the move comes at a convenient time with the Kraken making a pit stop in the Palm Springs, Calif. area, practicing Monday at Acrisure Arena (home ice of their AHL affiliate) before continuing onto Dallas for a 5:30pm PT puck drop on Tuesday against the Stars. 

Daccord, expected to back up Martin Jones until Grubauer is healthy, has put together a terrific season for the playoff-bound and expansion Firebirds, going 24-6-3-3 in 34 games while tied for ninth in AHL save percentage (.915).  

The 26-year old goaltender earned a win in his only NHL appearance so far this season, making 36 saves in a 5-4 victory at Calgary on Nov. 1. The Kraken had no choice but to press Daccord into starting duties that night, with Grubauer on the shelf because of a lower body injury that knocked him out for a month, and Jones staying home following the birth of his son, Rory. 

Daccord is 2-8-1 in 15 career NHL games with an .880 save percentage. Jones, who stabilized the Kraken season with a remarkable run of 9-3-1 and a .914 save percentage in the 13 games he played during Grubauer’s absence, ranks fourth among Western Conference goaltenders with 24 wins, along with a 24-12-3 record. But he is desperately seeking a rebound in his numbers from last two months, garnering just one win (a 5-3 victory at St. Louis on Feb. 28) in nine outings along with an .848 save percentage. 

The playoff hopes for the Kraken have largely relied on Grubauer in net, seizing the majority share of starts since the middle of January. While his save percentage lies at .900 in that span, a tick below league average, his save percentage has climbed to a stellar .921 in the 13 games the Kraken have won or forced overtime in that stretch.

The Kraken, embarking on a monumental four-game road trip that could decide the stress level of their playoff path, visit Dallas on Tuesday followed by a two-game series at Nashville, and ending a week from Monday at Minnesota. 

In just their second NHL season, the Kraken hold the first wild card spot in the Western Conference with a 38-24-7 record (83 points). They are six points clear of a playoff spot with 13 games remaining.  

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