The Penguins are on a four game win streak, they have gone 8-4-1 in their last 13 games and are finally showing signs of what they can accomplish when buying into Johsnton’s system. So why is everyone up in arms about what Jim Rutherford did, or didn’t do, leading up to the trade deadline?
While moving former first round draft pick Simon Despres for 31 year old Ben Lovejoy seemed to be a bit odd, General Manager Jim Rutherford has a plan and a vision. He understands what the Penguins will be up against in the post-season and what they need to get through.
Yes moving Despres for Lovejoy lessens the amount of…grit the Penguins have on the back-end, but adding Ben gives the Penguins a better puck possession player as well as a positionally sound defender.
The other recent move, Bortuzzo for Ian Cole, makes a lot of sense. Not only does Cole bring the same physicality and grit that Bortuzzo had, but he also can manage the puck very well. And at 6′ 1″ 220lbs he brings size.
No these were not conventional moves that Penguins fans have grown accustom to in the past with the Shero regime, but these are moves that, even if it’s slightly, improves our team.
The grit we lost with Despres is not what will cause the Penguins to fail in the post-season, nor would it have been the reason they succeeded. The success everyone expects to see will only happen if the super-stars play the best hockey of their careers.
They have the tools and they have the skill, now it’s time to forget about the past failures and look forward towards the same goal…..Lord Stanley’s Cup.
Rutherford’s plan has come together, it’s time we all show some faith as we finally see what this team is made of.
Thanks for reading and Let’s Go Pens!
– Robert Slavinsky