Ice Dancing and Johnny Fan
Third year in a row I'm doing this, to my mild surprise, and I wouldn't rely on my ability to prognosticate as much; I haven't been following as closely. But still, to start the general speculation. I've watched as 23 men have competed in the first two events, and nobody major has been knocked out yet, but so far the eight men with substantial points are(Okay, it's not impossible for fifth-placers to qualify by winning their other event, but it's unlikely):
NHK Trophy Top Four:
1. Daisuke Takahash-Need only medal at Skate America to seal it, where he'll probably win if he skates well, though if he makes mistakes Oda and/or Rippon could challenge him. But even then he's got bronze, unless he melts down. Barring disaster, he's in. He might even survive disaster.
2. Jeremy Abbott-Mathematically needs to win Rostelecom Cup, where he's up against Patrick Chan, Tomas Verner, and also Samuel Contesti, so he needs to skate well. Chan might be pretty hard to beat, but two silvers would probably get him in. Verner, of course, is unpredictable, as is Jeremy himself, so it might be silver or it might be bronze, and then as the chips fall. Contesti stands there as a potential reminder not to make very many mistakes.
3. Florent Amodio-Needs to win Trophée Eric Bombard to seal it, where he faces off against his own countryman, though of course Brian Joubert doesn't necessarily do so well at his native Grand Prix event. If he does, however, Amodio is left defending a needed silver against Takahiko Kozuka, not easy, and also Kevin Reynolds, Micheal Brezina, or even Sergei Voronov or Brandon Mroz, though he should beat the last two if he skates clean. It's a good thing the event's on home ice; that could make the difference. Or it could not.
4. Yuzuru Hanyu-To have a proper chance he'd need to win Rostelecom Cup, where I don't think he can beat Chan unless the latter has serious problems, and silver and the hope of things falling a very certain way isn't too likely either with Verner, Abbott, and Contesti hanging around; odds are at least one of them will skate well.
Skate Canada Top Four:
1. Patrick Chan-Need only medal at Rostelecom Cup, which he should if he skates at all decently; he'll be favorite to win, and even a troubled skate would probably only open the door for Abbott and Verner(and that assumes they skate well).
2. Nobunari Oda-Mathematically needs to win Skate America, not easy against Takahashi. Silver there would give him a good chance; he may once again face off against Rippon for it, this time on the latter's home ice, and there wasn't much difference in their scores either. But there's noone else there he won't stay ahead of if he skates well, so if he does that it's bronze at worst, and then as the chips fall.
3. Adam Rippon-Needs to beat one of the two Japanese guys at Skate America, and if he doesn't skate well he's not even safe against his two countrymen; on the other hand, it's not at all impossible for him to slip past Oda.
4. Kevin Reynolds-Needs to win Trophée Eric Bombard, which won't happen unless Joubert has another bad weekend in Bercy. Amodio might need to have problems too, which makes even silver hard, and that leaves out Brezina, Voronov, and Mroz, none of whom he's at all safe against.
Out of the race, but might remove points elsewhere:
Michal Brezina: Withdrew from his first event, but might be a factor on the Trophée Eric Bombard podium(or just win bronze there)
Contenders yet to skate: