Bona Fide Member
A changing of the guard in the men’s discipline?
Since 2006 the Olympic and World podia have comprised Plushenko, Lambiel, Buttle, Joubert, Takahashi, Lysacek and Weir. Add Oda, Sandhu and Verner for fourth and fifth places.
Lambiel, retired (might he come back?)
Joubert, off to an awful start this year (second-best French men’s skater at Eric Bompard, achieved same placement as compatriot Candice Didier.)
Takahashi seriously injured – may be out for good.
Lysacek, Weir, -- like the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland, it takes all the running they can do just to stay in the same spot.
Oda, can he come back from a devastating psychological blow?
Verner, consistent enough to be a factor? Voronov?
Is 2010 reserved for Kozuka and Chan?
Last edited by Mathman; 11-18-2008 at 12:10 AM.
Maybe. I prefer Kozuku. Her simplistic and sublime style is really refreshing. He is so smooth on the ice and his jumps are high and secure. Hopefully he'll get a quad soon.
Chan is too frantic and juniorish.
Ice Dance Obsessee
Interesting topic, lots to think about.
Regarding Lambiel, it pains me to say so but I don't think he'll be back. He just did not seem happy last season and I think the injuries would make a return not worth it.
I'm waiting to comment on Johnny until NHK. He has a good chance to win, but I wasn't blown away by his programs at SA. IMO, his programs while with Priscilla Hill were much, much better. But hopefully it is just as he says, and that he was still working out the kinks so early in the season because he's never competed at SA before, correct?
Joubert has a history of not doing well at TEB, except for maybe one year IIRC. But finishing off the podium, even with stories of blade problems, is something I never expected. Do you think he has enough time to regroup before CoR?
Quite frankly, I haven't enjoyed Evan's skating since his "Singin in the Rain" days and although I feel bad for the hit his confidence must have taken, it wouldn't bother me all that much if he weren't on the World team. I don't think that would happen (unless he is still visibly struggling with some jumps at Nationals), but it wouldn't bother me.
I never got the big deal about Verner. He's so inconsistent- goes from hot to cold so quickly. When he's on he's a contender but when he's not...he's really not. I just don't know what to make of him.
I miss Takahashi already. Hoping for a speedy, smart recovery. Didn't Zhou injure his ACL in the season before the Olympics? S/Z came back to win the bronze, and I thought they should have gotten the silver (but that's a topic for a different thread).
I was really impressed with both Abbott and Carriere at CoC. IMO, Abbott has all the makings of a great champion. He just needs to be more consistent (which he is improving upon) and better nerves. If he can overcome the nerves again at CoR, I'll be really pleased. And Carriere did nothing for me last year, but I actually enjoyed watching him at CoC.
I really like Chan, but I think he needs more time with that 3A before I can think he is the one for 2010. And if Kozuka is going to keep putting that quad in, he needs to land it more consistently. Other than that I think both are developing really well.
Will be waiting to see how Oda skates.
But yes, overall I do think there is a bit of shaking up happening in the men's field. The gold medalists in the first four GPs weren't entirely expected, and nor where the performances of the men we'd expect to see ahead of them. It definitely makes for an interesting season and to an extent I think a lot of the same can be said for the ice dance field.
Off the ice
I'll answer your last question first: of course not. What we have seen from Kozuka and Chan so far is good GP performances. I wouldn't even call them great GP performances: Chan's LP at SC was filled with mistakes, while at TEB he did not have a clean skate either and was, IMHO, overmarked. Meanwhile, Kozuka's tendency to UR his quad is doing him no favors. Could they win it? Possibly; but I still think it's too soon to place them at the top, especially Chan, with his lack of a quad and inconsistent 3A. Also, between them they have 0 World medals, 0 GPF medals, and 0 4CC medals. So I'm going to take a more cautious approach to both. Really, of the three GP winners this season, I think Jeremy Abbott is easily the most impressive, and his skating has a maturity and grace to it that I find very appealing.
Originally Posted by Mathman
The rest: Verner could absolutely do it. He's got better jumps than most of the current men's field and his presentation is great. True, he has had consistency issues, but this strikes me as more related to learning to deal with expectations than to any inherent problem with his skating. We'll know more as the season progresses.
Joubert has had problems before, and they're almost always mental rather than physical. From 2005 Worlds and up to and including 2006 Olympics, he went through a very rough time, with his only wins coming at French Nats and French Masters. He bounced back then, and he can bounce back now. With Takahashi out for the forseeable future, I still believe that if Joubert skates as he's capable of doing, he'll win. Preaubert skated brilliantly at TEB and beat a mediocre (possibly less than that) Joubert by about one point. As for his placement relative to Candice Didier's, that speaks mostly to the poor standard in the ladies'. Worst case scenario, he could always revive The Matrix .
Lysacek I think could still surprise us. He strikes me as one very determined guy! Weir I'll admit to having some doubts about. But I'm not sure I'd want to judge their chances based on the GP season.
Takahashi, sadly, may be finished for this Olympic cycle. His injury is serious and rehab and training will take some time. I hope to see him in Vancouver, and if not there, then I hope he'll stick around for 2014.
What strikes me as unique with the current male skaters is that there wasn't really a changing of the guard after Torino, other than Plush; the same guys have been winning since the first half of the decade, and it's not until this season that we're seeing some movement in the ranks.
No - it was his achilles tendon. I'm not aware of any other top skater who had to deal with a torn ACL, though I'm sure Takahashi can't be the first.
Originally Posted by lmarie086