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Thread: Mens FS

  1. #76
    Gadfly and Bon Vivant Mafke's Avatar
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    Of course, critical skate fans (by which I mean those with more technical knowledge a category I don't include myself in) can pick apart the weaknesses of _any_ skaters for as long as someone will read/listen to them.

    Liking or not liking the skater as a person or skater has nothing to do with that. The top skaters are going to get more of it and when a skater is as dominant as Plushenko is the technical picking apart is going to be that much more intense. Those who enjoy watching skating but aren't so interested in picky technical aspects should probably just avoid such discussions.

    As for Euros LP I saw it on Eurosport and thought EP clearly won, but looked tired (being sick will do that) and that the margin was a little high. This is also a weakness of COP. Most rational observers would assume that Plushenko gets (and should get) less points for his spins than Lambiel does and would be surprised that that isn't the case.

    Of course Lambiel (who I generally enjoy more than EP) has weaknesses, bad 3ax (antmanb, again, has interesting speculation on why) a tendency to lose concentration (those slips in final footwork at Euros) and an overall tendency towards juniorish presentation (I didn't like him for years because his costumes all looked like they belong on 12 year olds).

  2. #77
    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vitacus
    Sorry, but what's with the constant bitching about Plush lately I'ts getting tiring.

    So, what you're all saying is that Plush has poor skating skills (like all Russians)? Basically he's crap in the Program Components and is not worthy of anything above 5's in PC's? He's a jumping bean because that's the only thing he's good at? Did I understand this correctly?

    :sheesh:
    No you totally misunderstood and put words in everyone's mouths!!!

    Allow me to explain: he doesn't have poor skating skill. He has very good skating skills. He is the best jumper in the world with the best jump technique...he's been landing quads since he was what 14 years old and he's still skating...he must be doing somethign right in training. For me his spinning is not as good as his jumping, he doesn't get all the way down in his sitspin but regardless he's mad ea huge effort with them for CoP and he gets my praises for that. I feel that there are many male skaters out there who spin better than him though.

    In terms of his footwork, i personally do not feel that he exhibits the necessary skating and edging skills during his footwork sequences which are always very rushed, look sloppy and don't hold edge for long enough to show that he can hold them and generate power from them. He generates speed in his step sequences by jumping from toe pick to toe pick and and my generally jumping around alot. Even watching him do a simple turn like in teh Gran Lancia gala, he does not extend his free leg and looks to be off balance.

    This is a small criticism when compare to the way he puts teh complete package together. No skater in teh world has it ALL...it would be somewhat superhuman for someone to have it all. For me Yags came close though his spinning was also not the best. Kwan in her peak also cam e very close but again her spins were not the best.

    Its very strange the comment you made abotu Russians having bad technique because i've always thought the russians have the best technique - look at the pairs - its almost common place for russian pairs to have the purest stroking and the best unison...like there's something in the water!!! Pairs outside of Russia never seem to get the same unison.

    As to the PCSthere are five areas on the PCS and i'll comment on where i would put plushy if i were a judge (and remember that these in theory represent the propoertion of time the skater spent doing these during the performance):

    Skating skills: in the 7s
    Transitions/linking footwork: in the 6s
    Performance execution: In the 9s (he's style is not my cup of tea but he sells the heck out of every program)
    Choreography composition: 7-8 (again i don't like his choreography but appreciate that other do)
    Interpretation: 6-7 (because i don't he uses his music very well and doesn't show musicality).

    Ant

  3. #78
    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vitacus
    I understand you would want to pick him apart and discuss (in lengt for x pages) Plush's weaknesses, but what of the others? Beside, what makes a common skating fan credible anyway? It's not like skating fans are ever biased.

    If you where to discuss Buttle's, Weir's and Lambiel's weaknesses too (in length for x pages), then that would certainly make a better case were credability is concerned, imho. At least it would be objective.

    I assume everyone here has actually seen the competition?
    I have indeed seen the competition and posted my thoughts on the top men in another forum...i'm not looking for credibilty i am passing an opinion if you want me to re-post my thoughts here that i put on rec: sport.skating.ice.figure for a "balance" then i can do, or please feel free to go there and read my review.

    Ant

  4. #79
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    Sorry if I came out sounding like sour grapes here but there are other top skaters to discuss, such as Lambiel, Weir, Buttle, Joubert, Sandhu etc. It seems everyone is so caught up with Plush's weaknesses when others have bad cases of bad postures, sloppy/unfinished moves, rushed elements, juniourish choreo, travelling spins, and so on and so forth. They all have weaknesses in their skating, both in the TE and PC department, just as they all have strengths. I would be interested in hearing yours and others opinions on the other top male skaters weaknesses, if anyone is up for the task?

    Sorry if this is OT.

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb
    I have indeed seen the competition and posted my thoughts on the top men in another forum...i'm not looking for credibilty i am passing an opinion if you want me to re-post my thoughts here that i put on rec: sport.skating.ice.figure for a "balance" then i can do, or please feel free to go there and read my review.
    I'll go there and read you're reviews, thank you! Sorry if I offended you, Ant, or anyone else, ok?

    One question: where exactly am I suppose to look for your posts about the other top skaters on that site? I'm there but don't know where to look. Could you give me the link?
    Last edited by Vitacus; 01-27-2006 at 08:27 AM.

  6. #81
    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vitacus
    I'll go there and read you're reviews, thank you! Sorry if I offended you, Ant, or anyone else, ok?

    One question: where exactly am I suppose to look for your posts about the other top skaters on that site? I'm there but don't know where to look. Could you give me the link?
    OK so here's a copy of my review of the men's competition...more general impressions - you'll see the biggest chunk is on Pluschenko - as others have said if you're the world/european champion you're going to come under more scrutiny than the rest.

    An honest opinion about why people are picking him apart more than the others...the others have obvious errors that none skating fans can spot, for example, falling. Even a none skating fan can see if someoen falls they're not as good as the one who doesn't. Critiquing Pluschenko's flaws takes a bit more knowledge because he makes no obvious errors, the only thing he's guilty of is not doing everything 100%...so we're left looking at the 5% imperfections!

    Also for me - i'm based in the UK so this is the first competition i've seen all season - i've yet to see any none Europeans skating program hence no comments on Butlle, sandhu, weir etc.

    I'll post me review in after this comment.

    Ant

  7. #82
    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Review of Men

    Starting with the men...i think my favourite has to be Van de Perren -
    he didn't really get his jumps in either SP or LP this time round - i
    think he's so freaked by having to do the 3A and Quad that its thrown
    him off somewhat which is a shame, still despite the fall on the quad
    in the LP he still bounced up and got the 3toe after it.


    The first shallow comment i'd have about the Men's competition is the
    truly heinous costumes they are all wearing. Every single one produced
    hysterical laughter from a non skating fan friend who was watching with
    me and i couldn't help but join in. The only one with nice costumes was
    Pluschenko...a few years ago i think i would have had a heart attack if
    someone had said in a few years time you'll be praising pluschenko's
    costumes and ridiculing everyone elses. Lambiel's LP costume is just
    hilarious...he's skating to Vivaldi's Four Seasons not "the zebra's
    marched in two by two etc". And Joubert with his lord of the dance
    meets Elvis/Evel Knievel"...the guy is far too into his pleather!
    Dambier love him as i do needs better costumes...and what's with
    ripping the front off his SP costume to Carmina Burana??


    So actual skating comments - Pluschenko is beyohd light years ahead of
    the rest of the field he has a command of the ice and surety on his
    jumps that not a single other guy in the field had. The triple salchow
    is fast becoming his nemesis jump but given that he lands everything
    else i don't think it will cause him a problem, i wonder if working the
    quad sal has thrown his timing for the triple and he opens out to the
    double when the pressures on? I must confess to actually quite liking
    the music to his LP and he's obviously made an effort keep the wild
    arms flapping and head swinging to a minimum and only include it in his
    step sequences...i still have an issue with the fact he demonstrates no
    use of edge in his step sequence and its all about dragging his legs
    behind him to give the impression of difficult position when i'm
    convinced this guy couldn't execute a step seuqnece with both feet
    firmly underneath him to save his life. He has no control on the
    twizzles and falls out of them often but since his step sequence is so
    frenetic it seems to fit...and hey when lambiel stumbles twice in his
    step sequence you kind of have to give it to plushy! In his SP i don't
    understand why he has the manic circular step sequence in for one of
    the quietest sections of music...the head banging and arm flapping
    really does look strange to the quiet and slow music but then his
    musical interpretation has been pretty close to zero so i'm not
    surprised. Huge props to him for landing a quad toe/triple loop combo
    in the warm up for the SP he commented afterwards taht he hopes to use
    the combo in the Olympics and that it was important for him to land it
    in the warm up, Gwendal asked him why he didn't do it and Plushy seemed
    to say that he'd talked with mischin and decided to leave it out when
    it was clear that he didn't do it because the landing on the qud in the
    SP was wonky and he was lucky to get a double toe in after it.


    Joubert...i think he's pulling a Goebel and is past his best, a couple
    of seasons ago he could rely on his jumping ability and being the only
    other guy with a consistent quad and now he's struggling with the jumps
    and doesn't have very much left outside it to fall back on , though i
    will say this he's really gone from being one of the worst spinner sto
    one of the best.


    Lambiel...i really want to like his skating and his exhibitions are
    beautiful - really purist smooth gorgeous flowing edges but i see none
    of that in his competitive programs and the blame for that i lay at
    CoP's door. I dislike the CoP step sequences - give me lambiel's
    straight line step sequence from his "you're beautiful" exhibition
    piece and that wipes the floor with anyone else's. I also don't agree
    with his "best spinner in the world" title when he doesn't manage to
    get his free leg at hip height on his camel, but i recognise that when
    he changes positions/edges on his spins he stays rooted to the spot.


    Dambier...i have loved watching dambier over the years and have really
    liked his programs, they had a flare and style unlike anyone else's and
    this year he's really focussed on the CoP to get CoP friendly programs
    and the result is programs empty of choreogrpahy and any of his own
    style in them. The biggst surprise is that David Wilson
    co-choreographed it but i still don't think the programs are a patch on
    either of his programs from two seasons ago. He's taken the quad sal
    out of the SP and is doing the 3/3 instead.


    Intersting comment from Robin Cousins when asked about the Olympics and
    if anyone could challenge pluschenko he mentioned the North Americans
    and said that for him Sandhu was the one to watch...we got some footage
    of sandhu doing a 4/2 combination and you just hear a lady's voice
    commentating quietly...don't know if it was footage from canadians or a
    GP. Anyway i think given sandhu's problems with consistency that was
    going out on a limb...perhaps he shares sandhu's disappointment at
    canadians...who knows? Robin also commented that having been an ardent
    hater of the new system he thinks it is the way to go even though he
    feels its taken all of the artistry from the sport because people are
    so focussed on the elements.


    Final general comment about spins - ok so CoP may have forced them to
    work on their spins but in the Men's competition all i saw was each
    skater has worked on a very complicated combination spin (most of them
    working in both the outside edge front sit and the inside edge back
    sit) and then every other spin uses the same positions and changes
    from the combo spin. Most are using the sit as their flying spin in
    order to use the same enhancements they've learnt for the combination
    spin and they all (though joubert not as much as the rest) have to rise
    slightly and open the free leg out in a really ugly way to get the
    outside edge front sit spin. So you just see the same spin over and
    over again throughout the progam. Plushy did use a flying camel but did
    the pancake as an enhancement and notably crawled round slowly.

  8. #83
    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vitacus
    Sorry if I came out sounding like sour grapes here but there are other top skaters to discuss, such as Lambiel, Weir, Buttle, Joubert, Sandhu etc. It seems everyone is so caught up with Plush's weaknesses when others have bad cases of bad postures, sloppy/unfinished moves, rushed elements, juniourish choreo, travelling spins, and so on and so forth. They all have weaknesses in their skating, both in the TE and PC department, just as they all have strengths. I would be interested in hearing yours and others opinions on the other top male skaters weaknesses, if anyone is up for the task?

    Sorry if this is OT.
    Sorry if i raised up rather too quickly! No hard feelings.

    I;ve written in another post that i think other's imperfections are easy to see and don't really require much comment. Joubert - is inconsistent, Lambiel has problems with his 3 Axel and general focus, Buttle - problesm with his quad and triple axel, Sandhu...god we don't even need to go into the depressing inconcsistency of this amazing skater.

    As for Weir - his style and choreography leave me pretty much cold. He has beautiful jump technique but doesn't have the quad. I don't understand the huge raving about his programs but i see a purity in his basic skating that leaves me very impressed...completely none skating related - i love his off ice persona and his anti establishment ways. I love the fact he's not scared of being "girly" or feminine on the ice to contrast someone like Joubert's machismo.

    The problem for me commenting on their chances ni Torino is that the Olympics will be the first tmie i see their programs this season so i have to reserve judgment til then!

    Ant

  9. #84
    Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult
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    I think that unfortunately this thread is a lot more about trying to understand why Plushenko has such a large margin over the rest of the field and the knock on of that is that it appears that people are criticising his abilities while bigging up the others.

    For my part I enjoy watching Plushenko skate, he is not the greatest all round skater in the world, but then neither was Yags and he was my favourite male skater at the time as Lambiel is now. Plushenko has an almost perfect jumping technique and has great passion and presentation but he does lack in some areas where other skaters are either equal to or better than him (eg Lambiel is a better spinner than Plushenko). For my part in this thread I am just trying to understand why such a difference in marks and it is unfortuante that it happens to be Plushenko ahead, I would be exactly the same had Lambiel won by the same margin as I think there are things lacking in his skating that would IMO prevent him from having such a large margin.

    Apologies if it cam over like I was criticising Plushenko and his win, this is not the case.

  10. #85
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Of course, critical skate fans (by which I mean those with more technical knowledge a category I don't include myself in) can pick apart the weaknesses of _any_ skaters for as long as someone will read/listen to them.
    and don't forget the fans who have full faith and trust in the judging.

    Joe

  11. #86
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vitacus
    Sorry, but what's with the constant bitching about Plush lately I'ts getting tiring.

    So, what you're all saying is that Plush has poor skating skills (like all Russians)? Basically he's crap in the Program Components and is not worthy of anything above 5's in PC's? He's a jumping bean because that's the only thing he's good at? Did I understand this correctly?

    :sheesh:
    It's Olys time and nitpicking comes with the angst of the fans.

    Joe

  12. #87
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    Thank you, Antmanb, for your reviews of the Men! It was very interesting to read and I do share many of your opinions on the Men.

    Quote Originally Posted by diver chick
    I think that unfortunately this thread is a lot more about trying to understand why Plushenko has such a large margin over the rest of the field and the knock on of that is that it appears that people are criticising his abilities while bigging up the others.
    I know that now, but at the time it sounded more like criticising Plush while bigging up the others just like you said, and that's why I got upset. I don't like that behaviour in general. I understand better now! It's always very embarrassing when I realize I've been over reacting :o

    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    It's Olys time and nitpicking comes with the angst of the fans.
    Couldn't agree with you more The pre-Olympics drama is pretty scary.

  13. #88
    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vitacus
    Thank you, Antmanb, for your reviews of the Men! It was very interesting to read and I do share many of your opinions on the Men.



    I know that now, but at the time it sounded more like criticising Plush while bigging up the others just like you said, and that's why I got upset. I don't like that behaviour in general. I understand better now! It's always very embarrassing when I realize I've been over reacting :o



    Couldn't agree with you more The pre-Olympics drama is pretty scary.
    Heh - this is nothing you should have been on the net back in 1998 when Lipinski/Kwan were going to the Olympics....now vileness like that i never want to be reading again!

    Ant

  14. #89
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb
    Heh - this is nothing you should have been on the net back in 1998 when Lipinski/Kwan were going to the Olympics....now vileness like that i never want to be reading again!
    I can imagine the Lipinski/Kwan war being scary and here I thought it was pretty bad now with all the petty going ons on the many figure skating forums, heh!

  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mafke
    No. But Plushenko does have uneven skills; unparalelled jumping ability (which no one has ever questioned as far as I know), great committment (he delivers his programs with a lot of authority and presence). On the other hand his footwork is more show than substance (antmanb gives a pretty detailed description of why) and his spins are at best kind of mediocre (not great speed, no real sitspin etc.)

    God never gave anyone everything. Appreciating Plushenko's (considerable and undeniable) strengths does not mean his weakness don't exist. But judges seem to be giving him uniform high marks even where he's clearly not stronger than the rest of the field, as in spining (I've never seen a detailed analysis of his spins that says they're especially good).

    And, for me at least, the Russian element doesn't enter into it. I'm not a Plushenko fan but Klimkin is my favorite male skater. Similarly, I find the (mostly) technically solid TT/MM boring, but think Petrova/Tikhonov are the overall best pair skaters in the world (as in having the best balanced pairs skills and in skating _as_ a pair, TT/MM still seem kind of like two very skilled skaters who haven't been together very long).

    Finally, being the undisputed number one means people are going to criticize you more partly because they _expect_ more from a clear front runner than they do from one of several podium contenders.
    No one person is best at absolutely everything he does. For example, Weir cannot do the quad, Buttle makes mistakes on jumps all the time, Lambiel cannot land the triple axel consistently. I don't see anyone picking on their weaknesses. If I were an outsider reading these posts, I would think Plushenko does not even deserve to be in the top 10. Sure, he is not the best spinner but he is continuously improving and he gets it done when it counts.

    Vash

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