Colorado Avalanche: Cody Goloubef Must Go

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cody Goloubef is not good enough to augment the team’s defense, especially when he costs them games.

Every year it seems the Colorado Avalanche must have a traffic cone they dress up in defenseman gear. Sometimes these journeymen pan out, as Andre Benoit did in the golden Why Not Us season, 2013-14. Sometimes they become the bane of Avs fans’ existence, as Nate Guenin eventually did.

Well, Benoit and Guenin are long gone, the Avalanche bought out Brad Stuart, and even Nick Holden has been traded. (Though I wouldn’t have put him in that category.) Yet the team has persisted in its ways.

And this year, the AHL-level defenseman nonetheless getting NHL time is Cody Goloubef.

Goloubef came to the Colorado Avalanche the same way everyone does these days — by way of the Columbus Blue Jackets. On November 26, he Avalanche made what seemed a minor trade at the time, AHLer Ryan Stanton for fellow AHLer Cody Goloubef. At the time, most of us reacted with, “Huh?”

Well, naturally, the CBJ former has become an integral part of the team. He got called up after Erik Johnson‘s injury. He’s played in eight of a possible 14 games. He’s averaged over 15 minutes of ice time and even sees time on the penalty kill.

When he’s not in the penalty box himself, that is. In just eight games he’s already earned 13 minutes of penalty time. This includes two penalties in last night’s game against the Vancouver Canucks. The second penalty cost the Colorado Avalanche the game since the Canucks scored on the power play to put them up 3-2 late in the third.

For those of you into advanced statistics, Cody Goloubef’s Corsi For percent is 45.7%. That means the Avs do not control the puck more often when he’s on the ice. That stat puts him in the middle of the Avalanche and behind four other defensemen.

That’s noteworthy because two of those defensemen, Patrick Wiercioch and Eric Gelinas, have been scratched so Goloubef can play.

Now, Cody Goloubef’s one claim for the position is he’s a right-hand shot. With Johnson out, the Colorado Avalanche only have one other RHS on defense, Tyson Barrie.

Whether or not that matters is debatable. Some coaches like to pair a RHS with a LHS defenseman on every pairing. However, even with Goloubef in the mix, one other Avalanche pairing is still dealing with two lefties. So why would it be such a big deal?

Especially when Cody Goloubef is making an already bad defense worse. He’s the traffic cone of the Avs these days, and one that takes ill-timed penalties.

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Play Eric Gelinas and Patrick Wiercioch over Goloubef — both are superior talents for all their left-hand shottedness. Or call up Chris Bigras while simultaneously sending Goloubef back down. Though a LHS, Bigras is a sight better than Cody.

By Nadia Archuleta for Mile High Sticking

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