Exactly. The Shibs could have easily been 4th, 5th or 6th instead. In fact, the placements at 2011 Worlds SP was close: Just 2.76 points separated the Shibs in 4th and Cappellini and Lanote in 8th. That was actually smaller the 4.09 point lead P/B had on the Shibs.
Originally Posted by noskates
How slim is 2.76 points? The difference between a level 4 and a level 2 is 2 points. Add the difference in getting +2 and +3 and getting +1 and +2 in GOE and you can see how crucial even a small error (or in the other direction a little extra effort in hitting those key points) could have made in the placements.
The spread was a lot greater in the FD, and that is where the Shibs was able to secure the Bronze and only because of that costly fall from P/B. The margin between the two pairs were only .25 points. If one single component category averaged just a little bit higher, C/B would have the bronze. The margin between 3rd and 6th (B/S) was 3.56 points. Most of that margin between B/S and Shibs was in +GOE.
The fact is that unlike the other disciplines, in Ice Dance you could have a huge shuffle in the standings depending on how a given team performs THAT day. From 3rd to 9th after the Worlds SP, the point spread was 3.97 points, which was just a little higher than the point spread between V/M and B/S (3.82 points). Again, the FD told the tale, with the Shibs getting two level 2s. That's a loss of 3 points right there.
Point is, the data shows that the Shibs is not hitting the levels at the same levels as the other teams That is not a reflection of their skating ability or talent, but their ability to hit the key points required to get a certain level. Not to mention the discretion of the technical specialist. This has been costly for the last two seasons.
The data shows that they do not have the PCS buffer of other teams. I/K had a mess of a FD, but still managed to score THREE points higher in PCS than the Shibs who didn't make any visible errors. Is that reflective of ability or simply perception and packaging?
So I don't agree with the assertion that the Shibs are less talented or not as good as other teams. A lot of what's getting in their way are things they can fix, i.e. better programs, more work on hitting levels, etc. That's why that C/B beat them this year --- they have consistently hit level 4s all season AND the programs were packaged in a way that made Madison Chock (and Evan as well) pop and stand out.
Bona Fide Member
I think the Shibutani's have been fairly treated. They are in the mix.
The imp in me can't wait to see what happens in U.S. ice dance after Davis and White (and also Virtue and Moir) retire. Will Chock and Bates automatically be anointed? Will Shpplband's stable dominate Zueva's, giving Igor the last laugh?
The Shibs are not even certain to quality for THIS Olympics, so how can one be sure they have "another" Olympics to go, when they arent even certain to make this one. Yes they are young, but the comparisions to others their age doesnt hold much water at this point. These others werent World bronze medalists and then down to 9th in the World and 3rd in the U.S in a couple short years. They arent going to suddenly start flying up the ranks again all of the sudden, not likely anyway. Plus there are many teams roughly their age who are already now over them, who used to be behind them.
You seem to miss my earlier point that they've dealt with injury (Alex) and a growth spurt (Maia). That has likely hampered their ability to train at full capacity. We haven't seen a 100 percent Shibs team since 2012 Nationals. As I noted, they seemed to be returning to form at 4CC and Worlds, but those were just flashes, really.
Originally Posted by pangtongfan
And as I pointed out the point spread with the top 10 dance ice couples are so tight that they could move up the rankings simply by just hitting their levels. There is no breathing room for these Ice Dance couples. Unlike Patrick Chan whose skating skills (to the judges anyway) is so superior that he could make several mistakes and still win, even one little error could mean a much lower placement. Just one fall cost P/B the bronze in 2011 (if you look at the protocols, their FD was pristine otherwise) and W/P lost to Shibs at NHK in 2011 because of one extended lift deduction. And speaking of extended lifts, had the Shibs not received an extended lift deduction in both the FD and SD, they would have received the silver medal.
I.e. With the exception of D/W and V/M duking out for the gold, nothing is set in stone regarding placements.
One only has to look at the placements from the last three years to see.
As you can see, we've had three different bronze medalists in three years. Pechalat/Bourzat, despite being the "de-facto" third place team for most of the quad have finished 4th, 3rd and 6th. Ilinykh/Katsalapov went from 7th to 5th to 9th. Bobrova/Soloview went from 6th down to 7th and up to 3rd.
They're not a top team, but just noting for the record that Carron/Jones went from 12th to not qualifying for the FD to being 12th again this year.
The only three teams with not such drastic drops: Weaver and Poje, who to their credit have stayed in the top five all three years (5th, 4th, 5th), along with Davis and White and Virtue and Moir and Cappellini and Lanotte, who have steadily went up the ranks (8th, 6th, 4th), and Zhiganshia and Gazsi who were 11th two years in a row before breaking the Top 10 this year.
Point is, a good dance, a good program can get up you the ranks. Did anyone imagine that after last year that B/S would be the reigning bronze medalists going into Sochi? I seem to recall that everyone was so sure that I/K had taken the Russian dance throne after they won bronze at Europeans and finished above B/S at Worlds. That reign, as we have seen this season, ended up to be short-lived.
Now that said, could I/K come back and give B/S a run for their money? Absolutely.
So I'm not sure why some are so insistent that the Shibs couldn't make a similar comeback. Just because they're nice kids, doesn't mean there isn't fire in their belly to improve and overcome their challenges. Certainly they are aware of the deep competition just in the U.S. and aren't just sitting around twiddling their thumbs.
I think this is a good thing. I think it's great that the level of competition in Ice Dance is so high that you have to bring your A game (or try to bring your A game through injury/sickness/etc) to succeed. There's no such thing as a "fall buffer' here. (Well unless you're in the top two, I suppose).