He’s been through a lot in his hockey career, but goaltender Elvis Merzlikins probably wasn’t expecting it. As he walked on the ice, the viewer mockingly reminded him of the recent death of his friend Matisse Kivlenieks.
Scream, whose content is speculatedBut not officially known, Merzlikins heard earlier this week when his Columbus hosted the NHL base in the Dallas Stars.
“Nice fools live here with us,” he shook his head after the game. And he described what happened: “A fan from Dallas taunted me about Matisse as I walked out of the tunnel.
However, there was no verbal shooting. “I didn’t answer him,” said the 27-year-old goalkeeper. “Fools don’t come to my mind. They’re not going to piss me off. I didn’t care what he said.”
Merzlikins was obviously not dispersed. He caught 31 of 32 shots and significantly helped Columbus to a convincing 4-1 win. He even reached zero. He only lost it at the very end, when after bouncing the rear guard’s puck, Tyler Seguin scored in the open cage.
“I actually expected a clean sheet because I believe in karma,” said the Latvian goalkeeper. “I really believed in her after the first period, when the stick saved me three times. I felt Matiss was there with me.”
A Dallas fan who made an incomprehensible statement might find it difficult to attend other games. The Blue Jackets are looking for him.
Kivlenieks, the compatriot, teammate and close friend of Merzlikins, tragically died in July this year at just 24 years old. His celebration at the home of Columbus goaltender coach Manny Legace, who threw a party for his married daughter Sabrina, was fatal to him. At the same time, Americans celebrated Independence Day, which includes fireworks. But he failed.
The rockets started flying where they weren’t, and one hit Kivlenieks in the chest, fatally damaging his heart and lungs.
The goalkeeper Matiss Kivlenieks died in the Traissis. | Photo: Reuters
A promising caretaker, moments before, was sitting with the others in the hot tub in the garden. “And if he sat down, it wouldn’t happen to him, but to someone else. He saved my pregnant wife, me and dozens of others. I want you to know that. hero, ”Merzlikins said at the funeral.
He was closer to Kivlenieks than the other teammates. This tragic evening, he even wanted to ask her to be the godfather of his son. He was born in August. And his name was Knox Matiss.
Kivlenieks was a great prospect for Latvian hockey, even though he never made it to the NHL draft. Abroad, he even started in the third junior level, but thanks to his diligence he rose through the ranks of agricultural competitions to the cream of hockey line. He caught eight duels for Columbus. There could have been more, especially after a great performance at the World Championships in Riga, where he greatly helped Latvia to a historic victory over Canada.
The Merzlikins do not hide the fact that they now capture mainly for the Kivlenieks. A friend, whose death he still supports, wants to pay tribute to him by winning the Vezin trophy for the best goalkeeper in the league.
It would be a huge surprise, but so far the fit Latvian is doing brilliantly. He has won all four matches he has been in and has a success rate of over 95%.
“There are goals I want to achieve, but I can’t do it on my own. I need the help of my teammates and Matisse. I think he will help me,” added Merzlikins .
“Total travelaholic. Subtly charming zombie geek. Friend of animals everywhere. Music buff. Explorer. Tv junkie.”