Merzlikins accomplishes rare feat with 5th shutout in 8 games

Kirk Irwin / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Elvis Merzlikins is seeing beach balls right now.

The Columbus Blue Jackets netminder recorded yet another shutout on Friday against the Detroit Red Wings. The Latvian rookie has now notched five shutouts over his last eight games, going undefeated in that stretch with a sparkling .967 save percentage and a 1.00 goals-against average.

Merzlikins became the sixth goalie since 1929-30 - when forward passing was first permitted in all three zones - to record five shutouts over an eight-game span, according to NHL Public Relations.

Goalie Team Season
Brian Boucher Coyotes 2003-04
Ed Belfour Stars 2000-01
Tony Esposito Blackhawks 1973-74
Bill Durnan Canadiens 1948-49
Frank Brimsek* Bruins 1938-39

Merzlikins is now one of just two rookies to accomplish the feat since 1929-30, joining Brimsek.

Boucher, Belfour, Durnan, and Brimsek all produced their historic runs in significantly lower-scoring eras.

Season Goals per game
2019-20 6.1*
2003-04 5.14
2000-01 5.52
1973-74 6.4
1948-49 5.44
1938-39 5.06

*Entering Friday

Merzlikins has vaulted the Blue Jackets into third place in the Metropolitan Division, and he could begin to garner serious Vezina and Calder trophy consideration.

He leads all goalies in both shutouts (five) and save percentage (.930).

Merzlikins accomplishes rare feat with 5th shutout in 8 games
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