Merzlikins made 24 saves in a 4-3 loss to Chicago on Saturday. Merzlikins has lost four straight and the Jackets have all but thrown in the towel on the season -- they've traded Riley Nash and David Savard in the last few days, and the Pierre-Luc Dubois trade has been a miss. They will struggle going forward and Merzlikins will need to stand on his head to earn wins.
Merzlikins will guard the home cage during Saturday's matchup with the Blackhawks, Brian Hedger of The Columbus Dispatch reports. Merzlikins was solid in his last start April 1 against Tampa Bay, stopping 31 of 34 shots, but he ultimately suffered his 10th loss of the season due to insufficient goal support from his teammates. He'll attempt to snap his three-game losing streak in a home matchup with a Chicago club that's 7-10-3 on the road this year.
Merzlikins made a relief appearance Thursday, setting aside 21 of 24 shots in a 6-4 loss to the Lightning. Merzlikins had been yanked from his own start versus the Panthers on Saturday, but he was given the opportunity to relieve a struggling Joonas Korpisalo in the Blue Jackets' latest contest. While Columbus sparked a miniature rally with Merzlikins in the cage, the Bolts still managed to put the puck past him three times at even strength. Still, Merzlikins possesses decent ratios, including a 2.86 GAA and a .914 save percentage.
Merzlikins was pulled after two periods Saturday after making 21 saves against the Panthers. He left the game with the score 3-0 and took the loss. The Panthers eventually won 5-2. Merzlikins allowed those three goals in a 4:50 span early in the second. He was replaced by Joonas Korpisalo. Elvis is 3-4-1 in his last eight starts dating back to March 11, but the wins came against the Bolts, Canes and Stars. Glimpses of greatness, coupled with some tough luck and a struggling team, make Merzlikins a risky activation.
Merzlikins will patrol the crease during Saturday's road matchup with the Panthers, Mark Scheig of The Hockey Writers reports. Merzlikins was decent in his last start Thursday against Tampa Bay, turning aside 31 of 34 shots, but he ultimately suffered his eighth loss of the season due to insufficient goal support from his teammates. The 26-year-old netminder will try to get back in the win column in a tough road matchup with a red-hot Panthers team that's won four straight contests.
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||33||13||9||4||1815||71||5||2.35||0||178.6|