Tim may back into the Grand Prix final yet, just as Michelle did last year. Here's how. Tim has 12 gp points. First tie breaker is highest placing (1 for Tim) :
These 3 competitors are already ahead of Tim and have finished
all scoring events.
Competitors at NHK for whom it is a counting event
GP PTS NHK pts NHK
Now To beat Tim Placing
Buttle 9 5 4
Honda 7 7 3
Joubert 5 9 2
Gao 5 9 2
Abt 3 12 1
Ferreira 3 12 1
Savoie 0 12 1
Chipre 0 12 1
Li Y 0 12 1
Tamura 0 12 1
Nakaniwa 0 12 1
For those who have 0 points, to knock out Tim, they must score a better total score than Tim did at COC in addition to winning the event. (2nd tie breaker).
There are 3 open spots in the GPF. Van der Perren is not a lock; he can be outscored just as Tim can, but he fills the 6th spot ahead of Tim, so I have listed it this way. Savoie, of course, is an unknown factor, but he seems unlikely to win. And with the level of talent here, I do not expect Abt to win, given how he skated at COR. But it is possible, given that he earned good Program element scores. The rest of those needing a win to bump Tim will in all likelihood not place first.
I do not see how Honda at home in Japan will score low enough to miss the final. Either 1, 2, or 3 will do to put Takeshi in the final, and I am sure he will do it. That leaves 2 GPF spots open.
Based on Tim's COC performance, I don't think he will finish lower than fourth. That leaves 2 undetermined spots in the top 4 at NHK, both of whom have to come from the set (Abt, Savoie, Gao, Joubert, Buttle) to bump Tim. Looking at that set, it looks to me like it really boils down to Gao or Joubert finishing 2nd or better and Buttle finishing 4 or better to knock Tim out. Gao really tanked in the LP at COC which was his home event. I don't expect to see him in 2nd or 1st. So it probably boils down to whether Joubert can hold it together to finish 2nd or better. If Tim and Takeshi finish 1-2 or 2-1, Tim goes to the GPF, and so does Van Der Perren. And there are a number of other scenarios that work too.