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Thursday, October 6, 2011
Dave Bolland, Ben Smith out for opener

By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forwards Dave Bolland and Ben Smith were ruled out for Friday's season opening game in Dallas though Bolland might play Saturday against the Stars in Chicago, according to coach Joel Quenneville.

"I feel good, I feel nice," Bolland said after practicing for the first time in a week on Thursday. "I'm just catching up with the speed of the boys."

Bolland has an upper body injury which he denied having anything to do with previous concussion or back problems.

"Once it's healed, it's healed," he said.

Bolland has missed 64 games over the last two regular seasons due to injuries and expressed some frustration.

"You always wish you could stay healthy," Bolland said. "Little things can come out of nowhere, you never know what's coming for you next game or practice. You wish you could play 82 games with no injury or a whole career with no injury. There's some guys it happens to, some guys it doesn't."

Meanwhile, Smith missed practice Thursday after skating the previous two days as he recovers from a concussion suffered in the preseason. Quenneville said it's all "part of the process."

Brandon Pirri, just recalled from Rockford of the AHL, skated between Michael Frolik and Bryan Bickell during practice and will play Friday night. Quenneville indicated the Hawks would dress seven defensemen to make up for the losses of Smith, Bolland and Dan Carcillo, who is suspended for the first two games.

The Hawks host the Stars Saturday in their home opener after starting the season in Dallas on Friday.

Jesse Rogers covers the Blackhawks for ESPN 1000 and ESPNChicago.com.