Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Coveted Back-Up Position

While Howard and Larsson begin to slug it out for who plays second fiddle to Chris Osgood this year, there's another war brewing for a back-up spot at goaltending within Detroit's organ-i-zation. reports on this...

Both Thomas McCollum and Jordan Pearce want a job in Grand Rapids, the problem is whoever loses out on the big club between Howard and Larsson will be #1 for the Griffs, leaving one spot for two players.

Bob McNamara, GM of the Griffins had this to offer:

"I think both goaltenders have tremendous potential, and I think it's going to be a battle for that job. You never know, and you don't really want to say until you've given both kids an opportunity to really play."

McCollum, the 19 year old 6'2 200 lbs netminder chimed in:

"I'm a lot more relaxed coming in this year; I'm not as nervous. I really knew what to expect and was more focused on going out there and making the saves I need to make."

McCollum also discussed being drafted in the first round by the Wings back in 2008...

"There's always a lot of pressure being a high pick. That's no exception here, even though I was a later pick in the first round. A high pick in Detroit has a lot of pressure on them, but that's something I kind of relish and use to motivate me."

Jordan Pearce also contributed:

"You want to go where you have your best shot, but you want to go also a place where they'll give you a chance to play. Detroit gives their prospects time to develop, they work with them great. They expect a lot out of them and aren't afraid to play the goalie that's playing best."

Pearce went on to talk about his competition with McCollum:

"When things are kind of given to you, you get complacent. To know that you have to come and work hard every day, at least in my opinion, it makes me a little bit more motivated."

McCollum agrees, but notes that it IS a friendly competition that he would like to win:

"We're only going to push each other. So, in the end, it's going to work out well for the both of us. We'll be better goalies for it. Hopefully, I can get the upper hand."
Well sir, I can't say I'm favored towards either of them at this point. I'll go with whoever can consistently keep the puck out of the net better. If McCollum can rebound from his less than impressive World Junior Championship, and Pearce can get out of his funk, this might be a harder decision than some had originally thought. And remember this is for the back-up position on the AHL affiliate.
Future's looking bright in that crease...hope it stays that way.

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