Canadian Nationals Predictions
And the race is on! I thought I'd start a predictions thread to get everyone talking..Now that Rochette is out of the running, who's the favorite for the top three spots? Let's go people...Will it be Chan,Reynolds, Sawyer? And what about pairs? And dance, now that it's wide open? Nationals might turn out to be a very exciting and unpredictable event..Any thoughts?
Wicked Yankee Girl
Dance is going to be really interesting. I'm not really up on Canadian dance, so I'll take some uninformed guesses:
Conventional wisdom would say, I think
1. Crone / Poirier- much as I hate to say it, I think it is theirs to lose, despite having an annoying SD that doesn't entirely work. Their FD will pull them through.
2. Weaver / Poje (if W/P beat C/P at the GPF, all bets are off!) Their SD is my preference over C/P, but their FD will lose it for them even in the unlikely event that they won the SD.
3. Paul / Islam -but they have to get a better handle on their SD. They have completely blown it twice. Their FD at Skate Canada was excellent though. Furthermore, Islam's back injury has to have gotten better, the one that caused them to withdraw from CoR.
4. Ralph / Hill- If P/I screw up the SD, they could be overtaken by R/H. Or not. R/H have not generally impressed this year. It didn't help that they finished up last year behind H-M/C at 4CC's.
5 &6. maybe Arnold / Trojek? maybe Harvey / Gagnon?
These two teams are an any given day matchup for me, but they are significantly below 1-4
Any body else that's excellent from Challenge that I missed?
I'll put in my predictions.
Men - I like Chan, Reynolds then Sawyer. Must say I loved Nam in junior at the challenge
Women - Phaneuf, Samson, Lacoste in any order, enjoyed Grenier and DeSantis at challenge, could maybe become a factor, long shot. Najarro if she skated clean could come in top 6 or so. Missed the junior women, hope they skated cleaner than the seniors.
Pairs - Towers/Moscovitch are my favorite, sorry missed the juniors at challenge
Dance - Crone/Poirier, Weaver/Poje (not my favorite but will hold their spot), Ralph/Hill, Paul/Islam (hate their short dance but love their freedance) Like Orford/Williams, Hasegawa's, Oliveira/Hockley, Poulin/Servant in juniors in any order, not sold on Beaudrea/Breton yet - his posture bother me.
About the Juniors:
Originally Posted by from the sidelines
Orford/Williams: she's really very good, but he skates like a cowboy. I wasn't a fan of what I saw at Challenge, and I really don't believe they should have won. They have speed and power in spades, but are missing artistry, musicality, and finesse.
Hasegawa's: I really like this team. Their coaches have fixed their horrible posture issues from last year, and they look so much better. I hope they medal somewhere.
Oliveira/Hockley: I think they are suffering from "same old, same old" syndrome. From watching them at Challenge, they have improved and have a better flow this year. But they don't look new and interesting because they skate to the same fluffy, overly cheery music every year. And she needs to get a different dress for the Short Dance. She is a beautiful, vibrant young lady who looks about 30 pounds heavier than she is in that ghastly yellow dress.
Poulin/Servant: I think this team should have won Challenge. They are continuing to improve after having a great year last year. They have a lovely mix of both technique and artistry. I expect they will do well at Nationals.
Beaudry/Breton: I really liked their FD. She looks gorgeous, and he's not that hard on the eyes, either. Their program is well suited to them, and they have made just a ton of improvement over last year. They are clearly a good team.
And let's not forget that there are others that can vie for top 5. I don't think we should use Challenge scores as a marker of potential, since having watched the event, there was clearly something more than a little odd with the calling, especially in the short dance but also in the free dance. Some good teams were buried in the standings. Last year's bronze medalists, perhaps the most notable example, who also had 2 JGP's this year, finished in 15th spot, and barely qualified. I certainly wouldn't under-estimate them.
I agree with the comment about Carswell and Doleman. I think they warranted a bit better result. They may have had power issues, it was difficult to tell on Skate TV but the Tech did not give them very many level 4's. Maybe the difficulty wasn't there but I certainly enjoyed their programs.
With Western and Eastern Challenge merged as one, I think the Nationals will be a repeat of Challenge only with a few less teams. Not sure if I like that format. I suppose it's all about which teams will show the most improvement between now and Nationals.
Just for fun, I had a look at the Junior results to see if anything would change between the old Western/Eastern and the current system. Interesting. The results, or teams moving to Nationals, would be exactly the same. The Western and Eastern each normally took 8 teams each to Nationals. 16 teams in total. The 16th team last week was Smyl Joly/Behnia. In both old and new system, all 8 Western teams would go through. In Eastern Challenge, probably the same teams would be left behind. The perception in the old system was that somehow Western was super easy, and Eastern was super competitive. Somehow all the better teams were in the East, and not the best teams would make it through to Nationals. This year, there would be no difference between the results, and Western just had 8 strong teams. The impact at Junior would be that Smyl Joly/Behnia would be going to Junior Nationals, and there would be 4 flights at Nationals instead of 3.
Originally Posted by dcr
Novice is even more interesting. There were 12 teams that would have competed Western, and only 10 that would have competed Eastern. Of the top 16 teams moving to Nationals, 8 would have been Western and 8 would have been Eastern. Again, there would be no difference in the results in old and new system. Except Robitaille/Barthe would be going to Junior Nationals, and there would be 4 flights instead of 3 at Junior Nationals.
So, perhaps the perception that used to be, is no longer relevant. With good training centres in BC and Waterloo, and some in between in Alberta, it balances out Quebec, Scarboro, Barrie and Ottawa. Then the question becomes what is the real benefit of putting the events together? From what I can see, there is a lot of drama and pressure at Challenge for teams to qualify, but it is sort of ant-climatic for Nationals. For Juniors, the push will be to place top 5, and perhaps get an invite to Junior Worlds. But generally the building momentum is really to Challenge, and not to Nationals. Teams will try to improve to finish higher in the standings for the season, but it's not quite the same feel as a long build to Nationals. It will be interesting to see if the rankings change meaningfully at Nationals vs Challenge.
I think that is just about right. The only thing I'd add is that it could be any one of Ralph/Hill, Arnold/Trojek, and Harvey/Gagnon in positions 4, 5, 6. Top 3 are definitely ahead of the next 3. Then it's a bit of mess. Many of the Junior teams would beat the lower Senior teams, at least the ones I saw at Challenge.
Originally Posted by dorispulaski