Merzlikins says ‘Dallas fan’ taunted him over Kivlenieks death – .

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Merzlikins says ‘Dallas fan’ taunted him over Kivlenieks death – .


Elvis Merzlikins said a Dallas Stars fan made fun of him when he mentioned his former teammate Matiss Kivlenieks as the Blue Jackets walked out of the tunnel for the start of Monday’s game in Columbus.
“There are stupid people in this world,” Merzlikins explained after the match. “It was really bad what happened in the tunnel when I was going out. There was a Dallas fan who taunted me about Matiss. “

The Blue Jackets goalie was not fazed as he stopped 31 of 32 shots in a 4-1 win over Dallas. His shutout attempt ended in the dying minutes thanks to a goal from Tyler Seguin.

“I expected a shutout because I believe in karma,” Merzlikins added. “After the first period, the three positions I had, I really (strongly) believed in karma. I saw that (Matiss) was really there. “

During the offseason, the 24-year-old from Kivlenieks tragically lost his life in a fireworks accident on July 4. and his death had a tremendous impact within the organization.

Perhaps no one on the team was more affected by Kivlenieks’ death than Merzlikins.

Merzlikins invited Kivlenieks to live with him and the two formed a strong bond. Merzlikins often compared Kivlenieks to a little brother and would ask him to be his daughter’s godfather just before his death. He recently told ESPN’s Emily Kaplan that Kivlenieks’ grief had been difficult to handle.

“Sometimes you don’t control it, it hits you,” Merzlikins said. “I’m doing great, so I’m sitting outside on the patio and drinking my scotch and looking at the sky, and you start to think about him, and you miss him…”

At the start of the season, the 27-year-old said his goal was to honor Kivlenieks by moving all-in to become the NHL’s top goaltender and win the Vezina Trophy.

Merzlikins is keeping his promises as he was an excellent start to the season, going 4-0 with a 1.48 GAA and .952 save percentage.

“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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