Quenneville looking to get everyone in early
Ben Smith will get his chance at right wing on the third line on Saturday when the Blackhawks face the Tampa Bay Lightning at the United Center.
It figures to be a back-and-forth platoon situation most of the season between Smith and Jimmy Hayes.
"It's part of the sport, part of the job," Smith said. "You're always competing against a lot of guys. It's not going to be just training camp. As I said during camp it's going to continue well on during the year and you just have to play your best everyday and hope the opportunities keep coming."
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville would like to get all 23 of his players into a game sooner than later.
"We want to get everybody in here the next few games before we get too far into the season," Quenneville said after practice on Friday. "You've got 23 guys and over the course of a season you're going to wish you had 23 guys. It's just a matter of time before we get everybody in. They're all part of it."
With Smith getting in a game it would leave only defensemen Sheldon Brookbank and Mike Kostka and goalie Nikolai Khabibulin to play their first games.