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Ice hockey: Elvis Merzlikins finally takes his first victory – News Sports: Hockey

Elvis Merzlikins (25) had a complicated start to the NHL career. Columbus Blue Jackets goalkeeper still hadn’t won a single league game in the Ohio franchise jersey, which still relies on his talent in the absence of injured goalkeeper Joonas Korpisalo for several weeks on one knee.

On the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, Merzlikins finally won their first NHL victory. It was at home against the Florida Panthers, 4-1, against the team of former Blue Jackets star goalkeeper Sergei Bobrovski of Russia, who moved to Florida in the offseason. free agent after signing a seven-year contract worth $ 70 million. The former porter of HC Lugano, did not hide his joy at the final whistle.

The former public darling of the Resega – he had guided the HC Lugano until the final in 2016 and 2018 – will have a hard job in the mittens over the next few weeks and had asked, the day before the match against the Panthers, let the media leave him alone in the near future.

In his bubble

“I would like you to leave me alone, I just need to focus,” Elvis Merzlikins told North American media. (…) In the past in Lugano too, I didn’t speak to the media during the playoffs for the simple reason that I need to live in my world, the world of goalkeepers. There is a lot of pressure on my shoulders. (Talking to the media) is additional pressure on me that I don’t want at the moment. I have nine losses on the clock if I am not mistaken (note: eight defeats, including four after extra time, in eight starts before his victory on Tuesday against the Panthers). I just need to focus, play my game and get my feelings back. So I’m just asking you to leave me alone for now. “Statements that have at least had the merit of being clear.

After his first victory in the NHL, his teammates paid him a sympathetic tribute in the locker room by handing him the “man of the match” cap despite the hattrick made by defender Zach Werenski. “The tenth attempt was the right one,” said Merzlikins simply, before wishing his teammates a happy new year.

It remains to be seen whether the Latvian goalkeeper will be able, in his bubble, to align the good performances and regain the confidence which had enabled him to become one of the best goalkeepers in Switzerland in recent years.

Created: 01.01.2020, 11h24

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