Ice Dancing and Johnny Fan
Ice Dance Prospects
Two events have seen 19 couples skate, and there have been a couple of interesting results, with a number of new contenders rising to the surface. So far:
NHK Trophy Top Four:
1. Meryl Davis & Charlie White-Should win Skate America, then the Finale.
2. Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Pojé-Not going to beat Davis & White at Skate America, but two silvers would work. But for that they're up against their countrymen, who have just won an event, and whom they haven't beaten in two years. Also the Shibutanis and Capellini & Lanotte, and you can't assume they'll beat either couple again when both made mistakes last time. Even Riaznova & Tkachenko could beat a possible factor. They may need luck even for bronze and a chance.
3. Maia & Alex Shibutani-Not going to beat Marlie either, and the question stills remains of if they can beat Capellini & Lanotte for silver again, and both of the two Canadian teams could beat them too; I suspect Crone & Poirier will.
4. Elena Ilyinkh & Nikita Katsalapov-To have a chance they'd need to win Rostelecom Cup, where they'd need to beat Faiella & Scali and the Kerrs, and the odds are against them beating either.
Skate Canada Top Four:
1. Vanessa Crone & Paul Poirier-Need only medal at Skate America, where they'll face off Capellini & Lanotte for silver, and they may not win that. But the odds are in their favour over Weaver & Pojé and the Shibutanis for the bronze, and so long as they beat one of them they've still got a chance.
2. Sinead & John Kerr-Need to win Rostelecom Cup to make it certain, and they don't typically beat Faiella & Scali. They need to focus on silver, which they're not safe for: Hoffman & Zavozin or even Bobrova & Soloviev could beat them if they don't skate clean. After this week's disappointment, well, they really don't want to lose to them both...
3. Madison Chock & Greg Zuerlin-Need to win Trophée Eric Bombard to make it certain, and if Virtue & Moir make it there that's not happening. Even for silver and a chance they'd need to beat Pechelat & Bourzat, which isn't too likely either.
4. Alexandra Paul & Mitchell Islam-For any chance they'd need to win Rostelecom Cup, where the odds are long indeed for even silver.
Out, but still factors:
Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir-withdrawn from Skate Canada, but will win Trophée Eric Bombard unless her shins stop them
Anna Cappelini & Luca Lanotte-5th at NHK Trophy, could break some other couple's hearts at Skate America
Contenders yet to skate:
Frederica Faiella & Massimo Scali
Nathalie Pechelat & Fabian Bourzat
Nora Hoffman & Maxim Zavozin