The main difference between their skating skills, IMO, is that Kozuka doesn't have a relentless, highly coordinated media machine and a famous choreographer pushing him to the judges, and telling them what to drool over and value. Patrick Chan has really amazing basics, it's true. But just like Plushenko isn't actually the best jumper of all time, the gap between Patrick's skating skills and everyone else has been built up into something bigger than the reality.
Last edited by doubleflutz; 11-02-2010 at 12:59 PM. Reason: more appropriate wording
Another benefit Chan has received is being his nation's unequivocal #1 male singles skater. Had Jeff Buttle continued to compete, I wonder if Patrick's PCS would be as high as they are. Abbott has always had Lysacek to compete with in being considered his nation's #1. Kozuka has always had Takahashi or Oda to compete with in being his nation's #1. We all know politics exist in figure skating.
Nothing should be read into his Skate Chanada scores as it is clearly a silly and heavily political event catered to the Canadian skaters, and most of all their stars like Chan. Had the event been held anywhere but Canada, Chan would have been lucky to place even 3rd with everyone doing the same performances, and if he skates like that at Worlds in Japan he will finish 7th after a 16th place finish in the short program.
Although he has great edge control, he does not seem to be able to really get into the character of a piece. He skates to the music, but not to the emotion of the music. In that way he is very different than Sasha who always skated to the music, but also played a character inspired by emotions of the music. Patrick is not a performer, he seems introverted in a Johnny-like way on the ice (although Take 5 is a nice step away from that). Personally I perfer a skater such as Daisuke who will perform the music, not just skate to the rhythm.
I have watched Chan live. He is more impressive live than on TV, he does have presence on the ice, but certainly not more so than Brian Joubert or certainly not Dai.