On Monday, the teams resumed their first ice training to prepare for the season finale tournament. NHL matches have not taken place since March 11.
Merzlikkin admits that the time spent in solitary confinement was boring, although there are many changes in his personal life.
“I was trying to try new things and discover something new in myself. I got engaged and got married, but it wasn’t the right time to announce it publicly. I almost took care of the other dog,” Merzlin said to the North American media at a news conference.
The goalkeeper of the Latvian national team admits that it was difficult to keep himself in shape, because he did not have the opportunity to do a lot of training in the apartment.
“There were basic training, stretching and a little running. It was weird and boring. But now I feel good, I don’t feel any discomfort or stiffness,” Merzlikkin noted.
Unlike Blue Jackets’ second goalkeeper Jonas Korpisalo, Merzlikkin remained in the United States, so he has been able to train since the teams opened their halls.
Elvis and his new wife Aleksandra from Poland have already managed to surprise many with another picture that would seem to suggest that the young couple is also expecting their firstborn, in addition to their son. However, the couple later denied this fact, adding that the smoke was not blue but green.
“I was lucky to be here and I was able to train two weeks before the start of the training camp. I started to feel the puck. I have to endure a lot of throws, a little tired, but at the same time it makes me work hard,” said Merzlikkin.
According to him, at the moment we do not have to think about who will be the team’s first goalkeeper, but should help the team to win.
“At the moment, I’m not focusing on being the first goalkeeper and being superior to Korpi. Now the main task is to give myself the maximum and, if I play, to help win the victories. We are friends and we are here to help the team win. That’s the most important , “stressed Merzlikkin.
Compared to the pre-season training camp, Merzlikin no longer has the feeling that something is new or unusual.
“I’ve played in the NHL and I know what I’m capable of. Compared to a pre-season training camp, I’m now a completely different goalkeeper,” said Merzlikkin, stressing he wasn’t afraid of being eliminated from the tournament. “I know I’m good at knockouts and I can handle the pressure. Of course, the NHL is something completely different. I played the play-off several times in Switzerland and knew how to pull a team out in difficult situations.”
In total, Merzlikins has played in 33 games this season. In 21 matches, he helped the team score at least one point. On average, Merzlikins conceded 2.35 discs and repelled 92.3% of the show.
Yesterday it became known that Merzlikkin was not included among the nominees for the NHL season’s best debutant award.
Three candidates have been nominated for the Caldera trophy: Vancouver Canucks defender Quey Hughe, Chicago Blackhawks forward Dominik Kubalik and Colorado Avalanche defender Keil Macar.
In May, members of the NHL Professional Inspectors Association voted for potential nominees for the award. Merzlikkin took fourth place in the vote after Makers, Hughes and Buffalo’s Sabers striker Viktor Ulofson.
In turn, in the vote of the team’s general managers, Merzlikkin was the sixth place among the candidates for the award for the best goalkeeper of the season. Leading trophies for the three candidates will be announced on Friday.
In January, Merzlikin won eight games in ten games, placing an average of 1.72 puck in the match and repelling 94.8% of opponents’ throws, as well as defending his “fortress” three times. This month, he also claimed the title of best player in the league.
After a great performance in January, the goalkeeper was the leader in the “dry” games for a while, being able to protect his goal intact five times. In total, he has played in 33 games this season. In 21 matches, he helped the team score at least one point. On average, Merzlikins allowed 2.35 discs in the match and repelled 92.3% of broadcasts.
On Wednesday, the NHL announced three nominees for the season’s best coach award, named after Jack Edams. The Blue Jackets coach of Columbus, represented by Merzlikkin, and Bruce Casidy, the co-driver of the Boston Bruins, and Alain Vigno, the head of the Philadelphia Flyers, are applying for this trophy.
It is already known that the Edwardon Oilers striker Leon Draizaitls will receive the Arthur Rosso award as the best goal scorer, while the most successful player award – the Maurice Richards trophy – will go to Alexander Oweckin (Washington “Capitals”) and David Pastrņeks (Boston “Bru ).
It is also known that the award named after William Jenning will be given to “Bruins” goalkeepers Tuka Rasks and Yaroslav Halak, because the team they represent scored the least in the regular championship.
Other individual prizes will be determined by voting, but potential candidates will be identified in advance in the polls.
The NHL season is scheduled to resume on August 1 with a 24-team tournament taking place in two Canadian cities, Edmonton and Toronto.