Ice Dancing and Johnny Fan
Pairs prospects after two events
Now that the ISU website has finally updated the standings...two events, 15 pairs competed so far, and the chances of making the Grand Prix Finale. I believe this year pairs are not being assigned third events, so most of the series points will be in play, as in all the other events.
Skate America top four:
1. Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy-Very likely to win Trophee Eric Bombard and seal it.
2. Keuna McLaughlin & Rockne Brubaker-Both events done, 24 points, which puts them on the bubble. Though with less good pairs in general the same pairs tend to medal at events, making it easier to qualify with just silver and bronze.
3. Maria Mukhortova & Maxim Trankov-They would need to win Trophee Eric Bombard to seal it, which before Skate America would seem to be not happening, and even now isn't the likeliest of events. But even with a bad long they beat Duhamel & Buntin, their closest competition at this event, so more likely than not they'll take silver and then they'll probably be okay. If Duhamel & Buntin beat them, or possibly Vise & Trent thought they'd need to land the quad and hope, they're probably out.
4. Megan Duhamel & Craig Buntin-For a proper chance they would have to win Trophee Eric Bombard, and right now, things aren't looking easy even for the silver, though that might leave them with a chance still, due, again, to the same pairs tending to collect all the medals up. But then again, they'd have to win it first.
Skate Canada top four(excluding McLaughlin & Brubaker):
1. Yuko Kawaguchi & Alexander Smirnov-To seal it they need only medal at Cup of Russia, where they're up against the Zhangs and may also have to worry about Volshozhar & Morozov, but on home ice they can probably prevail over the latter, and the field is otherwise stuffed with junior pairs and Castile & Okolski, who might not make it and won't be at their best if they do. Extreme disaster would probably only knock them down to fourth, where they'd *still* have a chance.
2. Jessica Dubé & Bryce Davison-Would need to win NHK to seal it, which they might very well do; they're up against Pang & Tong, and that could go either way. The only other pair at NHK even remotely at their level is Inoue & Baldwin, so a clean skate will get them silver, which is very likely to be enough. Even a particularly bad skate would only lower them to bronze, which is still a fair shot; it would take a total meltdown to take them off the podium. Though thus if they were fourth, it's a safe bet their scores would end what chance they might have left.
4. Mylene Brodeur & John Mattatall-Would need to win Cup of China to have a chance, which isn't happening with both the big Chinese pairs there. Even silver's extremely unlikely. Ironically, they're not without a chance at bronze; their score at Skate Canada's only a little below what V&M scored on the Grand Prix last year, but that won't help.
Knocked out of the race but may mix things up for the other skaters:
Tiffany Vise & Derek Trent-Fifth at Skate Canada, may mix things up in Paris
Rena Inoue & John Baldwin-Fifth at Skate America, small chance at mixing things up in NHK(bigger chance of winning the bronze and this mixing nothing up whatsoever)
Brooke Castile & Benjamin Okolski-withdrew from Cup of China, may mix things up in Russia(but probably not)
Contenders yet to compete:
Dan & Hao Zhang
Qing Pang & Jian Tong
Tatiana Volosozhar & Stanislav Morozov
Having seen the top Pairs teams in the first 3 events, I think the verteran Pair Teams will be definitely in the Finals: Pang and Tong, Zhang and Zhang, Savechenko and Szolkowy. Of course, Dube and Davison must be considered as potential Finalist. That leaves two more teams:
I'm not sure if the judges want to lower the scores for Kawaguchi and Smirnov or not, but that is just my thinking as I am not ovewhelmed with their performances. Neither have I been overwhelmed with Mcl and Bru but they, at least, have been put in their place.
I am more interested in Muk&Trank and Du and Bun.
Two of the above-named Teams will not make the Finals. Which two? who knows? The cautionary idea of the slippery sport in this particularly dangerous event really prevents predictions.
S/S (GER), Z/Z (CHN), D/D (CAN), K/S (RUS) will get in. The fields in D/D and K/S's remaining events are easy enough that they should get in no problem.
If I predict correctly, M/B (USA), M/T (RUS), P/T (CHN), and V/M (UKR) may all end up with a 2nd and 3rd place in their events. (Actually, P/T could win NHK.... They just have to get by Dube/Davison, but for now I'll just predict that they finish behind the Canadians).
Once they go to the tie break, V/M and P/T would probably have the easiest time getting the final two spots. I think M/B's Skate Canada long score may be the difference between getting in and not getting in. It remains to be seen how M/T do in their second event, but their Skate America long score may very well be enough to keep them out of it.
I want M/B to get in, so I'm kinda hoping some of the other bubble teams score low in the upcoming weeks. I kind of hate the tie break... It's pretty hard to compare scores across separate competitions to determine who is more deserving than who for GPF spots. But I can't really think of a better way to do it.
Last edited by gold12345; 11-12-2008 at 12:39 AM.
I think, unless they've changed it tie breakers can be decided by the results of the very first event, which is also very sad.
Originally Posted by Joesitz
I'm looking at the chart.... I think the tie break will be total score from both of your events combined. If that doesn't break it... they'll eventually go to both of your long program scores combined. By then, the ties should be broken, so no, I don't think it will just be based on only your first event.
Someone correct me if I'm reading the chart wrong, but that's what it looks like.
Here is my standing after 3 events:
Savchenko/Szolkowy = 15 plus Paris
Kawaguchi/Smirnov = 15 plus Russia
Zhang/Zhang = 15 plus Russia
McLaughlin/Brubaker = 26 finished
Volozosozar/Morozov = 13 plus Russia
Dube/Davison = 13 plus Japan
Mukhortova/Trankov = 11 plus Paris
Pang/Tong = 11 plus Japan
Duhamel/Buntin = 9 plus Paris
It seems to me that there will be tiebrakers although relevant for getting the 5th and sixth team. btw. I do not see McL/Bru as a sho in.