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Kevin Korchinski Solid Again but Will He Stay or Will He Go?

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CHICAGO – It is certainly in the eye of the beholder–some think Chicago Blackhawks prospect Kevin Korchinski is ready. Others not. But he’s got a believer in head coach Luke Richardson that things are definitely going the right way.

“I think he had another strong night,” Richardson said. “Even at the end playing hard and tough when the guy’s gotta crash our goaltender. He plays in the Western Hockey League–it’s always pretty rough out there. He had no problem getting in there and getting the guy out of there and mixing it up in the skirmish.”

Korchinski recorded an assist on the Nick Foligno goal, zipping a pass to Taylor Raddysh as the power play was coming to an end. All four of the Wild penalty killers were together, attempting to reposition. Instead of rushing a shot as time was expiring, Korchinski found Raddysh, who sent it to Foligno which got the Blackhawks on the board.

An astute play by the youngster and one that helped keep some momentum on the Blackhawks side of the ice.

But it wasn’t just the offensive side of things that looked good. To Ricardson’s mention, a scrum near the Hawks net saw Korchinski in the middle of it, at one point wriggling out of a head lock and then shoving back hard, agitated that Soderblom had been disturbed in the crease.

He put on that bulk in the offseason and was more than happy to put it to good use.

Final Cuts Coming – Will Korchinski Be on the Final Roster?

Decisions haven’t been made yet as to who will be out there on Saturday when the Blackhawks wrap up their slate of preseason games, but Korchinski surely looks like he is in a good spot to be in one of the pairing when the Blackhawks open up the season in Pittsburgh.

It sure sound like it, too.

Korchinski had a grand scoring chance at one point and glided in off to the left of Marc-Andre Fleury. The shot perhaps didn’t have enough on it but he was able to still create a chance and then skate his way into a scoring chance. That’s the upside Kevin Korchinski brings–an offensive minded defenseman who can help the Blackhawks slow climb out of a rebuild.

“I thought he had some good gaps and some good sticks defensively,” Richardson said. “Which is really encouraging because he’s an offensive guy. He knows when to burst and take off with his speed. But defensively in this league, it’s really hard for young defenseman to fit in, especially if they’re more of an offensive style guy. It takes a little longer and he’s doing a great job there.”

Everyone will see after Saturday if it was a good enough job to stay with the Blackhawks.

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