With an injury to Alex Vlasic during the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday, conventional wisdom had Isaak Phillips being the natural replacement.
That proved correct.
But could Wyatt Kaiser be out to watch a game? From the Sun Times Ben Pope:
Blackhawks lines in practice in Arizona:
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) October 29, 2023
Kaiser has been steadier since a tough game against the Bruins back on October 11th. As Pope pointed out, it doesn’t mean the lines will stay as such, but Nikita Zaitsev has certainly been a lightning rod of criticism for many Blackhawks fans.
Regardless, it may be nothing. But the younger kids potentially sitting from time to time will happen.
Interesting storyline to watch for tomorrow.
Phillips the Logical Choice for the Blackhawks
He’s been nothing but productive in Rockford, tallying three points in five games including a goal. Kevin Korchinski earning a spot in Chicago made Phillips the odd man out. Phillips logged considerable minutes and was the logical choice to be the first man up when injury struck.
Here he is.
Last season, he had five points (1-4) in 16 games with the Blackhawks so it’s not as if he can’t stick. Perhaps Kaiser sitting and Zaitsev playing might be looking at something entirely different. Should Phillips force Chicago’s hand, would they consider four young defensemen once Vlasic is healthy again?
Isaak Phillips has the chance to stick now. Another intriguing storyline in a short season full of them.
Korchinski To Play in Ninth Game Tonight
Barring an absolutely anomaly of a poor game, Korchinski is likely to stay in Chicago beyond the game and burn through the first year of his entry-level deal.
Through eight games, he has two assists while being an important part of the Blackhawks blue line and offense. Being sent back to Seattle doesn’t really seem likely at this point, an interesting note nonetheless.
Connor Bedard has understandably gotten the lionshare of attention so far. But Korchinski, another important piece of Chicago’s rebuild, has quietly had a good start to his Blackhawks career–and is likely staying for much longer.