Columbus Blue Jackets’ Elvis Merzlikins, taunted by fan for teammate’s death, “didn’t get angry” on his way to fourth win – .

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Columbus Blue Jackets’ Elvis Merzlikins, taunted by fan for teammate’s death, “didn’t get angry” on his way to fourth win – .


Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins claimed a Dallas Stars fan made fun of him when mentioning his late teammate Matiss Kivlenieks ahead of their Monday night game.
Merzlikins made 31 saves in the Blue Jackets 4-1 home win over Dallas, losing their shutout with less than three minutes left in the game with a Tyler Seguin goal.

“I firmly believe I expected a shutout, because I believe in karma. There are stupid people in this world. It was really bad, which happened when I was going out. There was a Dallas fan who taunted me about Matiss [Kivlenieks] ”Merzlikins said after the game.

Kivlenieks died of chest trauma after being hit by roaming fireworks at a Michigan backyard party at the home of Blue Jackets goalie coach Manny Legace. He was 24 years old and, like Merzlikins, was from Latvia.

The Blue Jackets have honored Kivlenieks this season with a commemorative banner hanging above their ice rink.

The veteran goaltender said the fan’s taunt didn’t bother him. ” No. Stupid people don’t come to my mind. I leave them there. I did not get angry. I just realized how stupid people are, ”he said. “I don’t care what he said. “

Merzlikins, who improved to 4-0-0 this season with a .952 save percentage, said he believed Kivlenieks were with him this season.

“There are goals where I want to go, what I want to achieve. Alone, I will not reach them. I need help, from my teammates and from Matiss, ”he said. “I think he’s going to help me.

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