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Hawks lose Eager, Bolland against Detroit
By Tim Sassone | Daily Herald Staff

The Blackhawks' Dave Bolland, center, celebrates with teammates after scoring in overtime to defeat Toronto on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2008.

 

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Published: 10/7/2009 4:40 PM | Updated: 10/7/2009 8:37 PM

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This is not the way the Blackhawks wanted to play the Red Wings for the first time this season - without Dave Bolland and Ben Eager.

The Hawks might also be without winger Troy Brouwer tonight at Joe Louis Arena, according to coach Joel Quenneville.

Brouwer will be a game-time decision, but Bolland (sore back) and Eager (upper body) are out.

Bolland, who has been bothered by a sore back since the start of training camp, might return to the lineup for Saturday's home opener against Colorado.

Eager has what the Hawks are calling an upper body injury. He has a history of concussions with Quenneville saying only that Eager was undergoing further testing and evaluation.

"Benny is going to get further testing here," Quenneville said. "We'll know more when we get back from Detroit.

"With Bolland, we're going to be shooting for Saturday with him. Hopefully a couple more days of resting here will get him ready."

John Madden will move up to center the second line, likely between Dustin Byfuglien and Patrick Kane. The third line at practice Wednesday was Tomas Kopecky between Andrew Ladd and Radek Smolenak.

Jonathan Toews centered the first line for Patrick Sharp and Kris Versteeg.

"We'll try some things and rearrange some lines a bit," Quenneville said. "I know we had a lot of offense in the first two games, but with Detroit checking is always a focus for our team. We'll try to establish a strong checking game, but at the same time we feel we have enough offense with our guys."

The plan was to move either Aaron Johnson or Jordan Hendry from defense to play forward - maybe both, if Brouwer couldn't go. But Johnson was traded to the Calgary Flames Wednesday night for left winger Kyle Greentree, who was assigned to Rockford.

Quenneville said after Wednesday's practice nobody would be recalled from Rockford, but that could change today.

A Sharp point: Joel Quenneville has liked what Patrick Sharp brings as a left point man on the power play opposite Cam Barker on the first unit.

"That unit gives us some versatility as well with their ability to move around," said Quenneville, including forwards Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Dustin Byfuglien.

"(Sharp) is not necessarily parked at the point. He's kind of moving back door in that seam there, looking for one-timers. Having that guy at the point gives us a lot of options to use."

Winging it: It's only the third game of the season so the Hawks don't want to put too much emphasis on tonight's game against the Red Wings.

"We know it's a big game and that the Wings are a tough team, but we're a tough team too," Duncan Keith said.

The Hawks hope they have learned from last year that there can't be any letdowns during the course of games against the high-powered Wings.

"You know they're going to be in your end and coming at you," Joel Quenneville said. "You have to weather some storms and find your way through it, whether it's with big saves or big blocks. You've got to play you're 'A' game from start to finish. I think we learned that last year."

The new guy: Left wing Kyle Greentree, acquired Wednesday for Aaron Johnson, scored 39 goals last season in the American Hockey League for Quad Cities. Greentree has 65 goals and 148 penalty minutes in 159 career AHL games.