I was critical of Rutherford's move to bring in Erik Gudbranson. His advanced metrics pointed to him being one of the worst defensemen in the league this season. Since coming over to the Penguins, he's been tremendous.
Last night, it appeared that fan favorite Tom Wilson was going to give Jake Guentzel the business. Gudbranson put an end to that with a body slam. He's also been solid defensively AND, despite spending a few minutes in the box, led the team in ice time last night.
Marcus Pettersson has also been quite the find on the blue line, while at times Daniel Sprong has been a healthy scratch in Anaheim.
No trade has been bigger for the Penguins, though, than bringing in Jared McCann and Nick Bjugstad for Derick Brassard and Riley Sheahan. The two former Penguins have combined for 4 goals since their departure. Bjugstad alone has 5, while the current Pens have combined for 14 goals and 21 points in 20 games.
Rutherford was ripped earlier in the year, but his moves from February have pointed the Penguins in the right direction.