I think it's just the theory that goalies are weird. Some play better when they're pushed and some play better when they're "The Guy". Rutledge hasn't had a chance to be "The Guy" outside of the first game when he was dreadful, but that could happen to anyone. He hadn't played because of the eye injury, it was his first game, etc.
Since then, he's had to look over his shoulder because Racine (or Janecyk) would come in if he didn't play well. Maybe knowing that he's going to get a few starts would take some of the pressure off. He's never really had a chance to stay in the nets and get on a roll. Yes, he blew that chance when he got shelled by State one night after he shut them down, but maybe starting a few games in a row would help. Especially if the team would buy in, work hard, and play some friggin' defense.
I've said it a couple of times: The next month and a half is virtually meaningless in the grand scheme. They're going to get a chance to salvage their season in March, so all the efforts need to be toward playing their best hockey when March rolls around. I would try anything and everything to meet that goal: Line combos, defense pairings, PP units, PK units, different strategies, and potentially giving Rutledge a few starts.
Most goalies who play for USA end up at least being decent. There have been a couple that have flamed out in the NCAA, but most of them have been somewhat capable. He put up pretty good numbers for the NTDP and they play a lot of high-end competition. Theoretically he's your most talented guy. They need to find out if there's any chance he can be a goalie on this level and I don't think getting shelled every 5 games is going to 100% give you an answer.