never say never. I have to say I was really happy to see the Shibutanis doing so well, but if I/k performance was due to bad preparation then I really don't think there should be anything to worry about!
Don't drink the kool aid Zhulin is serving, he is a bitter, shrewd old man with many cronies in his pocket. I just have a feeling that we're in for a pleasant surprise with them. My mother always taught me never kick a man when he's down.
FWIW, these two teams are the only ones from their "junior class" to show considerable success at the senior level. Paul and Islam is just starting to show international success, but no GP
medal yet. Monko/Khailkan stayed in juniors another year, but is yet to hit their stride in seniors.
Shibutanis kept making really big mistakes like missing the entire twizzles in 2012 worlds for example. I/k have gone into a low level tailspin again and how do they get out of this tailspin. When they left Zhulin and went to morozov it was to get out of low levels. Now they are back there again and what is going on? I read a comment from katsalapov That was just bland and meaningless with no urgency. I wasn't looking for panic just any kind of urgency. I understand why shibutanis wouldn't leave zueva but not why at least Katsalpov wouldn't leave illynkh/ morozov.
They definitely shouldn't get new partners. New coach, maybe.. but they aren't washed up since they are still young and can still improve.. if B/S retire after Sochi (which is a slight possibility, I think), they'll become Russian #1..
Even D&W got 2s (with a dash of many 3s).
Getting 2s isn't a big deal. However, there are barely any 3s, and they are mostly 2s and 1s for I&K. Their PCS are much better than the Shibs, so it's the TES that's the problem, 7 points behind their own PCS.
Morozov has done a much better job than Zhulin, but he's only focused on lifts and tricks. The audience did give them a standing ovation, and they haven't received one in a while. Their transitions, footwork, handholds, as well as overall mastery of the content are lacking.
It would be best for them to switch to new coaches, but I doubt this is the year to do it. The best coaches are overfilled to capacity. Angelika and Pascale have done wonders, and they are probably the hottest coaches right now, having transformed Faiella and Scali, P&B, W&P into real contenders.
I don't know about their supposed laziness. It does seem that Nikita isn't in top condition, while Elena isn't either. Their lower stamina and lack of mastery of their moves shows.
I don't know why people always say I/K don't work hard enough. Lazy compared to who exactly?
I wish ice dance rules could be more intelligible to common people. It's frustrating to not know what exactly is wrong.
As juniors, I/K beat the Shibutanis in both face-to-face matchups in the 2009-2010 season, namely JGPF and Junior Worlds.
But since entering the senior circuit in 2010-2011, the face-to-face record is 5-2, in favor of the Shibtuanis and the Shibutanis have been 2-0 since 2013 Worlds. The Russian fed (and many of their fans) insist that I/K have raw talent can be competitive with the likes of Weaver and Poje, Pezalat and Bourzat and their own colleagues Bobrova and Soloviev. Some are saying they could even win bronze.
However, their win-loss record with their couples are:
Bobrova-Soloviev: 0-3, Nationals; 0-3 Europeans, 1-2 Worlds, 0-1 Grand Prix
Weaver and Poje is 0-5;
Pechalat/Bourzat is 0-5
Cappellini/Lanotte - 5-1
The only team they have a better win loss record is Cappellini/Lanotte. Which begs the question, if they are so talented and as good as people say they are, why does the statistics show otherwise? The work ethic issue is one theory; however there could be other factors in play as well.
However, stating that it's a product of "not understanding COP" is not a valid reason because these other teams, Cappellini/Lanotte especially, have managed to clean up their levels to be competitive.