Elvis Merzlikins shares story of battling PTSD all season after teammates death

Published April 30, 2022 at 6:18 PM

Today, during the exit interviews with the media following the conclusion of the Columbus Blue Jackets' season, Elvis Merzlikins stated that the Blue Jackets tradition of firing a cannon after a goal was difficult to endure after the tragic death of Matiss Kivlenieks.

Kivlenieks died last summer of chest trauma after a firework struck him. Merzlikins later revealed that Kivlenieks purposefully put himself in the way of impact from the firework to protect Merzlikins and his pregnant wife.

When the Columbus Blue Jackets scored a home goals early in the season, Merzlikins shared that he struggled with the sights and sounds of the cannon; implying post-traumatic stress from the experience.

What's encouraging is the implication too that Merzlikins was able to overcome these feelings, by specifying he dealt with this early in the season. What's discouraging, however, is the fact the Blue Jackets continued firing the cannon knowing the tragedy Merzlikins lived through. If he had made his concern known to the team earlier in the season, the Blue Jackets absolutely should've stopped the cannon.

Regardless, Merzlikins persevered greatly this season from the loss of his teammate and countryman, and put up a good performance of a .907% save percentage on a rebuilding Columbus team.
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