Merzlikins unfazed by fan's taunts over Kivlenieks' death: 'I believe in karma'
The 27-year-old said a fan wearing a Dallas Stars sweater taunted him about the death of his close friend and former teammate, Matiss Kivlenieks, as he exited the tunnel prior to Monday's game in Columbus, according to Aaron Portzline of The Athletic.
The Blue Jackets and Nationwide Arena security staff were reportedly trying to identify the fan as of Tuesday morning.
Merzlikins went on to make 31 saves on 32 shots en route to the Blue Jackets' 4-1 victory over the Stars.
"I was expecting a shutout, because I believe in karma. There are some stupid people in this world," Merzlikins said after the contest. "After the first period, the three posts that I got, I really believed in karma. I saw that (Kivlenieks) was really there."
Merzlikins added that he didn't respond to the fan.
"Stupid people don't come into my head. I didn't get upset," he said. "I just realize how stupid people are. This is all. I don't care what he said."
Kivlenieks died in July following a fireworks accident. Merzlikins previously called him a hero and said he's going to win the Vezina for him.
Merzlikins has enjoyed a fantastic start to the 2021-22 campaign, going 4-0-0 with a .952 save percentage.