Elvis Merzļikins is coming off a remarkable rookie season with the Columbus Blue Jackets, but it didn’t start that way.
After going straight to the NHL from the Swiss League, Merzļikins didn’t win his first game with the Blue Jackets until Dec. 29, then finished with a 12-2-0 flourish that included five shutouts and a .953 save percentage. Back on the ice in Switzerland last week for the first time since a groin injury ended his NHL playoffs prematurely on Aug. 7, Merzļikins spent close to an hour last week on a Zoom call with the InGoal Radio Podcast discussing that roller coaster rookie season.
Merzļikins agreed to share video from that lengthy chat with InGoal Premium Members, allowing us to better capture the emotion, animation and passion of the exciting — and sometimes excitable — Latvian star. With a wide variety of topics ranging from working out hard enough to throw up, to his evolving mental approach and how it was tested during that tough start last season, and the goalie coaches and lessons that helped evolve his game, there’s something for every goalie. Enjoy: