Most troublesome are the absences of Kwan and Cohen. Kwan has almost no experience in the points scoring system now in use — her only major appearance under it was in this year's world championships, where she was a disappointing fourth, her first non-medal at worlds in a decade. Unless she makes a late entry into a Grand Prix event after dropping out of Cup of China on Tuesday, her next competition will be at nationals in January.
That means international judges won't have seen Kwan's programs and she won't have gotten the necessary feedback to make them battle-tough for the Olympics.
Granted, Kwan is such a clutch competitor that she probably will win her ninth straight (and 10th overall) nationals. But the Olympics haven't supplied her most glorious moments.