Jennifer's Canadian Nationals Prediction contest got me thinking about Canadian Nationals and all the great skaters that are going to be in attendance. I really hope that even the people who aren't Canadian get excited about Canadian Nats, and take part in discussions about it.
Anyway, here are my predictions for the Canadian Nationals from the prediction contest, with a short explanation of almost every prediction, [ I know how much you hate dry predictions Joe] though for some of the ice dancing ones, I just had to go by names and results because I really don't know the teams very well.
1. Jeffrey Buttle - Even though up against a clean or close-to-clean Eman he would have a very tough time, I can't trust Sandhu for any predictions, simply because he is so inconsistent.
2. Emanuel Sandhu - Sure, he is inconsistent, but I just can't see him messing up enough for any of the following men to overtake him, unless he skates absolutely disastrously in all phases of competition.
3. Ben Ferreira - I have to admit, this is an 80% sentimental choice, but also 20% of me sees him having the skate of his life at Canadians, getting the bronze, getting to finally go to the Olympics to cap off his career. He coached me for a few weeks in Barrie, Ontario and he is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. Also his fiancé choreographed my long program! Anyways, I would REALLY like to see Ben make the Oly team.
4. Shawn Sawyer - He has become more consistent this year, and he could very well get the bronze, but I'm still thinking/hoping that Ben will grab the bronze, and Sawyer with settle for fourth this time, and then make lots of future world teams after Ferreira has retired.
5. Christopher Mabee - He has also become more consistent this year, and with the performance of his life, could indeed grab the bronze as well. He still battles a fair amount of inconsistency though, and I believe, will most likely end up in the same place he was last year.
6. Patrick Chan - He had great success on the JGP circuit, and qualified for the JGPF, placing a respectable 5th out of 8 I believe. He's consistent, and I think the triple axel is in the works, and I wouldn't be surprised if it is present here.
1. Joannie Rochette - Seeing as Phaneuf is recovering from an injury, I think all Joannie really has to do is show up and not have a splatfest and this competition should be in the bag for her. She had some success on the GP circuit, and was very close to making the final. She has a great program, and has been skating it fairly well.
2. Cynthia Phaneuf - Despite coming off an injury, I don't see a strong enough ladies competitor in the wings that could overtake her. She is a complete question mark at the moment, but I think that might very well be the best position she could be in, mentally, coming into these championships.
3. Mira Leung - She has improved greatly from last year, and has extremely consistent jumps. She still has A LOT of work to do with her presentation, and her jump technique, and flow in and out of her jumps, but I think she will be able to jump her way onto the podium. If Phaneuf isn't recovered or has a splatfest, she'll probably take the silver.
4. Amélie Lacoste - It is reported that she now has fairly consistent triples all the way up to lutz, and is hoping to make the world team. If she shows us all those triple jumps, then she could take second from Phaneuf, or third from Leung, but seeing as we have no proof of these newfound jumps, I can't predict her that highly quite yet.
5. Lesley Hawker - She is stronger, and more consistent than any of the other ladies that will be competing so I think she should place fifth or so. Again, with skates of her life, she could find herself on the podium.
6. Amanda Billings - I don't know of any of her results from competitions this year, but judging by past results she should be somewhere in the 4-6 range.
1. Marcoux and Buntin - They looked great on the Grand Prix circuit, and have great programs this year. They have a newfound consistency, and I love the dynamic between the two of them. I think this should be a fairly easy one for them.
2. Putnam and Wirtz - Oh man! All of the places except for first in this group were so hard to pick! I love this team though, and they had great performances at their Grand Prix events so I think if they can skate to their potential here they should be on the podium, and in my opinion, get the silver.
3. Langois and Hay - They're a very new and inexperienced team, but the dynamic between them seems so much better than that between Annabelle and Patrice. They looked great at Skate Canada, and they've had lots of time to grow since then, so I think they will be a team yo'll have to look out for once they've had a bit more time to grow.
4. Wakamatsu and Fecteau - For some reason I am not a big fan of this team. I think I find them very mis-matched. They didn't impress me very much at all on the Grand Prix circuit, but they may challenge for silver or bronze with good skates.
5. Dubé and Davison - They are two-time World Junior silver medallists and great skaters. They really impressed me at Skate America, and I think they very well may be able to challenge for one of the higher spots. At this point though, I see the other teams surpassing them with consistency and maturity.
6. Duhamel and Arnold - They did very well at the Junior Worlds last year, and placed second at either Nebelhorn or Karl Schaefer this year. They have side-by-side triple lutzes in their programs, that are fairly consistent. They could very well challenge for a higher place if they skate well. Such a hard category to predict!
1. Dubreuil and Lauzon - Their free dance is absolutely breathtaking this year, and they had great success on the Grand Prix circuit, medalling at the Final. They should be able to win this one fairly easily.
2. Wing and Lowe - They have been on the Canadian ice dancing scene for so long, and have worked for everything they've gotten. They had good competitive results so far this year, and are a very consistent team, but won't overtake D/L. The silver should be fairly easy for them though.
3. Virtue and Moir - They had great success on the JGP circuit, winning the final, and I have always preferred them over Lefebvre (sp?) and Markov. They have a youthful, yet sophisticated style, and in my opinon will and should get the bronze.
4. Lefebvre and Markov - They are the reigning bronze medallists, but to be honest, do nothing for me. They are consistent enough though, that they should come third or fourth.
5. Karam and McGrath - They are a gorgeous team to watch, and I love their programs this year. I think with a good group of skates, they should come somewhere between fourth and seventh.
6. Senft and Gislason - They are a young team, but they have been together for a very long time, and you can tell. They too have good programs this year, and should place somewhere in the fourth to seventh area.
What do you guys think? PLEASE add your insights and predictions to those I have put forth. Can't wait until this competition gets rolling!