Ice Dancing and Johnny Fan
Pairs Prospects After Two Events
16 pairs have competed so far in two events, and the story's less whose been knocked out than who simply hasn't skated well though survived, which must all be taken into account when considering:
Trophée Eric Bombard Top Four:
1. Maria Mukhortova & Maxim Trankov-Need only medal at Skate Canada, where they will once again face Savchenko and Szolkowy, and Dubé and Davison, as well as Langlois & Hay, and Denney and Barrett. They'll only lose to the last, and probably the last two, if they melt down again, so if they can keep the consistency up, they're in.
2. Jessica Dubé and Bryce Davison-Mathematically they need to win Skate Canada, for which they would need another S&S meltdown. Still have a chance if they win silver, but to beat M&T they need much cleaner skating, and/or possibly for the latter to make mistakes again. With a chance, depending on what shape Shen and Zhao are in, of a different team winning every Grand Prix Event, and an even bigger one of five different teams taking gold, it may be harder to make the Finale with silver and bronze, and there's also the question of the score tiebreaker for them. They should medal here if they don't skate too badly, but with only bronze there will be some crossing of fingers.
3. Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy-Really, if they don't win Skate Canada, there's no excuse for it. Silver would put them in the same position as Dubé and Davison if the latter also take silver and bronze, maybe with an advantage on the scores, maybe not, depending on how badly they collapse.
4. Rena Inoue & John Baldwin-To have any chance, especially with the amount of teams and possible amount of gold-splitting, they'd need to win the NHK Trophy, where it would take a miracle to even get them silver, what with both Pang & Tong and Kavaguti & Smirnov there.
Rostelecom Cup Top Four:
1. Qing Pang & Jian Tong-Need only medal at NHK Trophy, which they could win; against Kavaguti & Smirnov it can probably go either way. But as the only other medal contenders even there are Inoue and Baldwin and Denney & Barrett, it would take the worse competition of their lives for them not to medal, and even in fourth they'd have a chance.
2. Yuko Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnov-Mathematically need to win NHK Trophy, which they might or might not do, but they do are unlikely to go below silver there, and if Pang & Tong take two golds(especially if Shen & Zhao do likewise) two silvers turn much more secure.
3. Keuna McLaughlin & Rockne Brubaker-would need to win Skate America to seal the deal, where Shen & Zhao are going to be very hard for them to beat. Even silver is going to be an uphill battle, against the Zhangs, Volosozhar & Morozov, and also threats from Duhamel & Buntin and even Castile & Okolski.
4. Vera Bazarova & Yuri Larionov-No second event, and without much fame or a medal here it doesn't seem likely they'd get one even if there's another withdrawal.
Knocked out but still a tiny chance of throwing things:
Mylene Brodeur & John Mattatal-6th at Rostelecom Cup, mostly here because of their tiny chance at medaling at NHK, but that might not have an effect on the race for the GPF anyway. Most of the other lower-ranked pairs don't even have second events.
Contenders yet to skate:
Xue Zhen & Hongbo Zhao
Dan & Hao Zhang
Tatiana Volosozhar & Stanislav Morozov