Thoughts, Musings and Predictions for the GPF
At NHK, janetfan complained that ice dance didn’t have the sense of surprise that the other disciplines had. Knowing who was likely to win didn’t make it much of a contest. Looking back, we’ve had a couple upsets (C/P and B/S defeating the Kerrs and F/S respectively) and a lot of interesting stories emerging (especially from Russia, where the menagerie of talent means that anyone could emerge as the top contenders for the National title). The big story, of course, has been the rise of P/B and the difficulties D/W have had. Realistically, I think expecting people like Meryl and Charlie to just let this one go is somewhat misguided. They’ve always been driven people and insanely hard workers. Remember, they went from the closest medal loss in COP history to five straight victories. Yes, maybe they’ve bitten off more than they can chew, but let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater here – these two programs have room to grow, and give them credit for exploring other arenas besides pure dynamic power (but I don’t think they’re getting rid of that for a second). For P/B fans, these past two seasons have been rather agonizing. Narrowly missing out on the Euros podium (2009 and 2010), then seeing their early season scores diminish with the return of Delobel/Schoenfelder, and then winning the FD at worlds but being too far behind to medal. You’ve gotta look at this season as a benediction for them. The other two top European teams struggling with content and injury, posting scores that yes – can challenge D/W for those titles. Credit to their hard work as well– they went to those early competitions and got the feedback they needed, and regardless of my feelings, they have two largely acclaimed programs. So clearly, these are the top two
Then you’ve got the next two. Two tales here. C/P went from Olympics to Worlds with one goal and that was to improve massively over their skaters in Vancouver. They succeeded. B/S, on the other hand, didn’t improve nearly to the same degree from those two competitions, seeing a smaller rise. C/P knew they were the second Canadian team heading into this season, regardless of whether V/M competed (aka, their number one position has to be in asterixed). B/S have no idea how the politicking will play out. But both have come first and second in their two events. Both defeated top teams to do so. And both have posted scores that come perilously close to the podium, and to each other. I thought we’d have another USA vs Canada battle with C/P and Samuelson/Bates, but with Worlds and the subsequent injury, I think S/B have been displaced by B/S. C/P’s situation reminds me of Khoklova/Novitski in 2008 – they were able to take advantage of retirements, injuries, mistakes and a local vacuum to sneak through to bronze at worlds. I’d hesitate in drawing major conclusions (after all, F/S could come back strong), but it’s worth noting.
If one of the above err, I think these next two could come through. Weaver/Poje need to give a performance that definitively states that they shouldn’t be shunted aside. Time and time again in the past, they’ve just barely hung on (SC 2009) or just barely missed (Nationals 2010). They have a raggedness that makes it difficult for judges to give them the PCS or GOEs many want to see. Hoffman/Zavosin are definitely right-place/right-time, like C/P last season. Anything higher than sixth place would be a huge thing for them, and put in play the idea that top five at Euros is a plausible goal.
1. Davis/White (will win SD on the strength of PCS and good GOES; will win F/D in both)
2. Pechalat/Bourzat (Win TES in the SD, second on everything else)
3. Crone/Poirier (Good GOES will give them the bronze, base value and PCS will be too close for comfort)
5. Weaver/Poje (cannot make any errors or the judges will hammer them for it)
6. Hoffman/Zavosin (they just want two good dances to reaffirm their place as a top ten team)
(writing up the rest now)
I wonder how far Tomas Verner's "regress for success" strategy and copying of the Olympic champions jump layout will serve him here! Last year the winner was quadless and none of the medalists did quads but it seems this year is not so ultra ultra conservative because 1-it is not the Olympic year and 2-the rule changes. Then you also have Amodio quadless but that is not a "regress for success" strategy because he has rarely ever done quads at all. Will they be five and six? Are they both hoping for mistakes so their ultra-conservatism pays off like it did last season in the Olympics? You can't write off the quadless though!
Will Chan have both a quad and his triple axel? Hopefully Takahashi does not go from first in the short to fifth in the long again! Will it be all Japanese with Takahashi-Kozuka-Oda all winning medals?
If I understand that Skating Skills is a test of on ice turns, stroking, and speed, then I think Chan has these requirements. However, I believe Skating Skills as such are a Technical test, and also deserve a credit in the PC scores since there are no plus GoEs.
Falls for me, show poor skating skills and I can not change that look. It does not mean a skater can or can not do a program without Falls, but in the competition he/she did . Figure Skating has far too much pampering in the partial credit scheme to add a meaningles automatic deduction of 1 point as a penalty.
I hope not. Taka-Dai-Oda sweaping the podium will put too much pressure for themself, and the expectation from the fans and Japanese media will be too much for them in Tokyo world. I think 2 out of 3 is reasonable and at least one person will push harder them the rest.
Originally Posted by gmyers
Wicked Yankee Girl
IP, interesting post.
One correction: D&W won the FD at Worlds 2010. V&M were second. P&B were third over F&S, but slipped to fourth, based on their poorer showing in that part of the competition.
And another thought. Especially in the SD, the technical committees have been more variable than in the past, particularly on calling the GW segments. TEB was particularly generous. I am going here not so much that P&B got a level 4 on the second GW segment (something that no team got in any previous GP event, including them), but that Chock & Zuerlein also scored two level 4 GW segments, and so did Cannuscio & Lorello who had two Level 1's at Cup of China. Granted C&L and C&Z improved, but not that much, on their cascade in the 2nd segment.
So it depends on which panel arrives at the GPF: if it's the April Sargent panel from TEB, both D&W and P&B will get level 4 for both GW segments. If it's the stingy panel from CoC, P&B and D&W will both get some hit on segment 2.
The NHK panel was stingy on the GW, but generous on the midline step. D&W got level 4 on it.
I would make no predictions on the SD tech scores-and have been unwilling to make any such predictions all season.
D&W are markedly faster than P&B, even today. Since you haven't seen them head to head, and since D&W have been a little slower than last year due to the importance of getting the levels in the SD GW segments, and due to the close holds and transitions of their tango FD, that hasn't been as evident, but I expect D&W to be more in shape at the GPF, for sure.
doris, I'm not sure what you're correcting. This comment here
Remember, they went from the closest medal loss in COP history to five straight victories.
Was in reference to their Worlds 09 loss, where they lost the bronze medal by 0.04 points. THe five victories were Nebelhorn, CoR, NHK, GPF and Nationals.
Nevermind, I see it now. I was grouping the European teams at World separately from the Canton quartet. My bad
Oh, woe is this field! A lack of participants (Rochette, Kim, Lepisto, Meier), weakness in many of the top skaters, boring programs, injuries... the spectrum of disappointment. Very few skaters look like they want to be out there. For all her raggedness and junior persona, Murakami looks like she’s having a ball on the ice, and that’s gotta be a boon for her, but overall, this field is extremely disappointing. On the other hand, there’s really no set narrative for who could win here. In fact, the exciting this about this group is that anyone can pull it off.
1. Miki Ando: Smart money’s on her, and for good reason. She’s won both her events (no one else has). She’s a stalwart. She did well in the last post-Olympic season, and she also came back from a disappointing 2008 season as well. I don’t really want her to win, but I think she’s got it in the bag.
2. Alissa Czisny: My gut feeling. I could be wrong, but I’ll be wrong gloriously (as Czisny can be). Okay, the short version is that the new rules somewhat help her. The highest GOE-earning element of the season is her spiral sequence. I think she’ll benefit from the limitations of a couple of skaters and sneak through with a medal. But mainly because I feel like predicting it.
3. Akiko Suzuki: She’s gotta go for it, and I think she can.
4. Racheal Flatt: Injury leading to URs, and with her big weapon with the jumps gone, she doesn’t have a whole hell of a lot to fall back on. Shame, because I’m still rather rooting for her.
5. Kanako Murakami: She knows this is her first shot to guarantee herself a spot on the Worlds team, and I think that’ll get to her.
6. Carolina Kostner: Her technical limitations mean she’s last. If she’s attempting the harder jumps now, I think she’ll revert back to form and make too many mistakes.
Last edited by ImaginaryPogue; 11-29-2010 at 11:54 PM.
Constable , Costume Police
I'm rooting for Alyssa and Akiko 1-2 either way.
Otherwise, I have no real preferences, just hope it's not a splat fest
I like Murakami, (though on the whole, I prefer Imai, myself) but almost hope she doesn't do too well since I think her FP is pretty junior-ish and I detest the split personality costume. C'mon , it's Zorro. We get it.These costumes really make it difficult to see what the skater's body is doing. Away, foul fad !
Guilty confession : I love Carolina's Apres Midi program..and I long to see Alyssa perform it..
Verner for the win!
I know, I know, call me crazy, but you never know what could happen
Pros: Unbelievable confidence and charisma. Clearly a strong skater. Improved consistency. Great audience rapport. Doesn't let a mistake get to him (see his SA 2009 LP)
Cons: Least experienced skater on the senior circuit, lowest PCS. No quad. Will the French federation embrace a new number one after a near decade of Joubert?
Pros: High PCS. Incredible skating skills and transitions. Complicated programs that means he can score higher GOEs without necessarily skating well.
Cons: Inconsistent. Adding a lot of technical difficulty to his repetoire without truly mastering what he had while skating those dizzyingly complicated programs mean he's prone to mistakes. What he could afford to do at SC or CoR he cannot do with better competition. Everyone here has outscored him with at least one program.
Pros: Same as Chan, but only now are his PCS comparable to the top of the pops. Very COP friendly programs. Has a quad
Cons: Despite firmly being ensconced in the top three in Japan, the perception's always been that's been the third man. Do the rising PCS mean that that has changed? If not, will he be unfairly slotted behind other inferior performances?
Pros: Thanks to enormous jump GOEs, should be very well placed after the short program. Can do well in terms of levels of spins/footwork. Has a quad.
Cons: Can't count. Doesn't get the huge PCS. Isn't always the most consistent. Tends to drop in the LP.
Pros: Doesn't it feel like this season is his victory lap? He's got a Worlds gold and silver along with Olympic bronze. He's already had to miss an entire season due to injury. You've gotta wonder if he'll stick around after this season. On top of that, his programs seem a little like a greatest hits package for some. To be fair, Dai's greatest hits means we're gonna get some dazzling skating with his huge charisma (even more than Amodio) and some wonderfully inventive maneuvers (that flying layback!). He'll get some huge PCS. Has a quad.
Pros: Everyone's rooting for him, right? He's skating with a bit of brio and confidence. Not clear if he's the number one or two skater of his country.
Cons: No quad, and relatively conservative layout compared to the rest. Prone to inconsistencies (politely). Stamina issues in long.
1. Daisuke Takahashi
2. Takahiko Kozuka
3. Patrick Chan
4. Nobunari Oda
5. Tomas Verner
6. Florent Amodio
My hope: Chan and Oda switch. I think missing out on a GPF medal could give Chan motivation heading into worlds (did last time).
Thanks, IP! You've summarized them so well! I enjoy reading them!
Although, there is a tiny error in the men's post. It's not "everyone". I do not root for Verner. Not with this kind of programs.
Wow you summed it up really well. I, too, think it will be 1.Dai, 2.Taka, 3.Patrick I don't really like Oda, his jumps are strong, but everything else is mediocre...Chan is inconsistent but his skating's so good! I'm rooting for Dai and Taka anyway, they're the best right now!
Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue
As far as the girls are concerned, here's what I'd love to see:
1. Akiko Suzuki
2. Kanako Murakami
3. Rachael Flatt
4. Alyssa Czisny
5. Miki Ando
6. Carolina Kostner
(Rachael and Kanako could also switch)
But here's my more realistic predictions:
1. Akiko Suzuki
2. Miki Ando
3. Rachael Flatt
4. Kanako Murakami
5. Alyssa Czisny
6. Carolina Kostner
Last edited by Lily.Grace; 12-01-2010 at 12:48 PM.
Once more, unto the breach.
To me, pairs has become the most startling discipline. The withdrawls/injuries and the splits combined to take out HALF of the top ten at worlds. On top of that, a fairly dispiriting junior race which is basically a repeat of last season. But teams have surprised. Moore-towers/Moscowich went from being REPLACEMENTS at Skate Canada to easily making the GPF with their huge technical difficulty, stalwart confidence and plain old brio. Iliuschekina/Maisuradze seemed to improve everything about their quality from last season, consistency, expression, choreography. Barazova/Larionov have truly broken through and are challenging the top echelon of skaters with their high scoring elements. And Sui/Han made the leap to seniors only the way youth can - with a devil-may-care attitude that comes from a complete lack of pressure. The narrative that seemed to be going through the motions last quad really got a kick in the pants.
1. Savchenko/Szolkowy: They're skating with a little more confidence and the same style as in the past. Neither program is a masterpeice, but they're both quite good and fun.
2. Pang/Tong: Something's missing, but their quality is more than enough to out PCS the rest.
3. Barazova/Larionov: They're hungry. Give her credit - she stuck with him through the long ban that he had and they've come out strong this past year. A Euros medal isn't out of the realm of possibility.
---Any other arragnement would be stunning---
4. Moore-towers/Moscowich: The benefit they have is a high scoring program, a sense of confidence, and a desire to make-up for lost time (they're a new couple, he skated with his sister before she outgrew him). Two good skates here would place them in a great position to work towards a top ten at Worlds.
5. Sui/Han: Hometown bonus, high risk elements. They've got a COP program through and through.
6. Iliuschekina/Maisuradze: Prone to errors in the LP and the program doesn't support that the way others do.
Pairs- I honestly think the Germans are a lock here if able to skate (there is recent news I read somewhere they might not). Beyond that Pang & Tong will probably have to hope the Germans dont skate to win, and otherwise will have to fend off a possible challenge by Barazova & Larionov. Moore Towers and Moskovitch are in the running for maybe a bronze, but probably not more then that. Sui & Han and the other Russians are not real threats for a medal here.
Men- I see Takahashi and Chan as the only real contenders for the gold. If Takahashi skates clean then Chan can get away with 5 falls, but a 6th fall would hand a clean Takahashi the gold. Kozuka or Oda can both win bronze, or silver if Takahashi has enough mistakes (neither can beat Chan no matter how many falls he has). Verner can possibly win bronze here but probably only skating cleanly and alot of mistakes from others, unless his programs, spins, and jumps have all improved from Russia where he barely won with Chan commiting the equivalent of 7 falls of mistakes and Abbott skating poorly in the LP. Amodio is not a threat for a medal here, would hope to place above last if he can.
Dance- Davis & White will win for sure if they skate well. However if D&W have mistakes like Skate America and Pechalat & Bourzat skate well the French will come out on top of the podium. Pechalat & Bourzat cannot be beaten out of 2nd place atleast unless they make some serious mistakes. Bobrova & Soloviev and Crone & Poirier in a battle for bronze almost too close to call. The Hungarians and Weaver & Poje battling for 5th.
Ladies- Miki Ando and Akiko Suzuki likely in a 2 way fight for gold. Flatt, Czisny, and Murakami likely in a battle for bronze. However Murakami will be pushing hard to prove me wrong and beat atleast 1 of her 2 teammates, since if she doesnt she will have a hard time making Worlds unless Asada bombs again at Nationals and doesnt get the benefit of doubt to be sent anyway. Kostner not a contender for a medal here.
I agree with all of this - despite my loathing for Chan's skating. I don't know why, but his skating is like watching paint dry to me... the only time I'm excited is when he makes a glorious error. Murakami is too sloppy for the GPF but skaters like her tend to do well at 4CC so I am waiting to see her there before I form a solid opinion of her talent level. If Flatt skates well and settles into fourth place, then I will assume she's been written off by international judges. If she skates clean and wins a bronze then Nationals will be interesting. If she wins - it will be a sign that the end is near...
Originally Posted by pangtongfan