Problem is, most of the other ice dance teams have been working on their programs since the beginning of summer. P/G have a lot of lost time to make up, and Paul may not be able to train at full strength since he is still recovering from his injury. Piper may have been practicing in the meantime, but given the gap in ability between herself and Paul, her practicing alone isn't much help.
What G/P needed to do most since Worlds was work on their basic skating - lines, edges, unison, matching skating skills, dancing together skills. Those things take a lot of work and time. It requires both partners to work on this. Unfortunately, with him having been injured, this is likely not the priority now. It's about getting programs done, choreography learned, and enough together to be competitive. They are having to catch up with fellow competitors who have a number of months ahead of them. It does not bode well for them earning the 3rd spot. And I suspect any "benefit of the doubt" from Skate Canada and judges will likely be gone after last season's results, when they were healthy.
My prediction? I expect that P/I will be ready for a great year. They have a great training environment, lovely skating skills, and great coaches who did wonders for W/P confidence a few years ago. W/P are great role models for them. If they deliver, I think that 3rd spot will be theirs. If they don't deliver, I think R/H will be ready this season as well. They also were well-received a Worlds. If they have a good start to the season, quality programs - music, choreography, packaging, then they will be strong contenders for that 3rd spot as well. It should be a very interesting year in Canada in Senior Dance....
Speaking of that, I think it's time to start a "Canadian Ice Dance - 2013/2014 Edition" thread. It's going to be an exciting year in Senior, and I'm really curious to see how all the new, and some returning, Junior teams are going to fare. I hope to find some time over the next couple of weeks to look at all the video streaming from various competitions.