AthleticismAaron Portzline reports that the Nationwide Arena team and staff are attempting to uncover the identity of the offending party.
This #CBJ and #At national scale Arena security tries to identify the fan who, according to the goaltender Elvis merzlikins, mocked Merzlikins about the off-season death of his friend and former teammate Matiss Kivlenieks before Monday’s game against Dallas. #TexasHockey.
– Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) October 26, 2021
Kivlenieks, 24, was killed at the home of Blue Jackets goalkeeper coach Manny Legace on July 4 during a fireworks malfunction in which the Latvian tried to protect others stray fireworks.
After Monday night’s 4-1 win, Merzlikins revealed he was taunted before the game.
“I expected a shutout, because I believe in karma,” Merzlikins said of his 31-save performance. “There are some stupid people in this world. It was really bad what happened in the tunnel when I was going out. There was a Dallas fan who [provoked] me about Matiss. After the first period, the three positions I had, I really believed in karma. I saw that [Matiss] was really there. “
Merzlikins, 27, says he did not respond to provocations.
“Stupid people don’t come to my head,” he said. “I didn’t get angry. … I don’t care what he said. ”