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updated: 9/14/2013 9:34 PM

Blackhawks' Smith scraps with Keith in scrimmage

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Ben Smith says he will do anything to make the Blackhawks' roster. On Saturday, he proved it by fighting Duncan Keith.

The scrap came late in the day's second scrimmage in front of a sold-out crowd at Notre Dame's Compton Family Ice Arena. Neither player wanted to talk about what started the rare Keith fight.

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"It's just part of the game," Keith said. "I'll do anything out there. We're both competitive. It's hockey. It's just fight."

Smith is trying to win one of the few available jobs at forward.

"It happens; we're competitors," he said. "For me, I'm trying to win a spot here. It's just one of those things. I'm happy neither one of us got hurt there. I'm going to do everything I can to possibly win a spot here.

"It's just water under the bridge, a heat-of-the-moment thing. I'm sure we'll laugh it off later."

From the way Keith talked, that might take a few days.

"Why would I talk to Ben right now?" Keith said. "Maybe if I see him I'll talk to him about it, but I don't know what there is to say. I'm not going to hold it against him. I don't know what else there would be to say about it."

Hawks coach Joel Quenneville thought it was a whole lot about nothing.

"Things like that happen," Quenneville said. "I've seen more fights than just one in camp. Some days you see several. It's all part of it."

Uphill battle:

Even Ryan Stanton knows the odds he faces are long, trying to crack the top seven of a defense that won the Stanley Cup last season.

"It's definitely a pretty established group," Stanton said of Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Nick Leddy, Johnny Oduya, Michal Rozsival and Sheldon Brookbank.

"They're all good defensemen, and you can't be mad at management for signing back a (defense) corps like that that just won a Stanley Cup. I just have to come into camp, work my hardest, try to turn some heads and make it a tough decision on them."

While it might look to be a done deal on defense with no jobs available, that's not how Joel Quenneville sees it. The coach mentions Stanton, rookie Adam Clendening and veterans Mike Kostka and Theo Peckham with having opportunities to win jobs.

"They're all in the same boat," Quenneville said.

Stanton was a black ace in the playoffs as a reward for a solid season at Rockford. He even got his own day with the Cup.

"He's in a competitive spot," Quenneville said. "We've liked his development in his career. He's another defenseman we think could play if given the chance. It looked like he belonged in practices when he came up last year.

"We'll see how he plays. When you put him into an NHL game, you know you'll be comfortable with him on the ice."

Getting comfortable:

After two days of scrimmages, Brandon Saad said he is getting settled in at center.

"I felt better today than yesterday," Saad said after Saturday's workout. "Yesterday was a new experience. At wing you're usually a little ahead of the play, so you have to remember to slow yourself down.

"Faceoffs are going to be something I have to work at, for sure, but that's something you can work on to improve."

Joel Quenneville likes what he has seen so far.

"I think he looks all right," he said of Saad. "It seems like he has the puck, and the play recognition is there. Defensively, that continues to be a work in progress."

Toews update:

Jonathan Toews was held out of Saturday's scrimmages with a lower-body injury, and Joel Quenneville said it was likely Toews won't participate Sunday either.

"Johnny was much better today," Quenneville said. "He wanted to skate today, but let's make sure it's more than ready with him."

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