Mid season report card
Mid season, and the questions I want to ask the oldtimers and sharp-eyed commentors here are, what trend is most standing out for you this season, who has blown you away so far, who are you most sad about (potential un-realized and running out of time), which have been the most exciting performances so far (who has brought the magic)?
Right off the top of my head the saddest thing was watching Adelina this past weekend, such potential, her jumps are YuNa like but.... sad. Is it too soon to say it is over for her?
I haven't watched all the disciplines but I thought Julia's FS at Skate Canada and V/M this past weekend were the magical performances of the season.
The only trends I can see and say with confidence is the judging trend of D/W as the anointed favorites and Mao building a "head of steam" toward Sochi.
And oh yeah, Julia is the real deal.
Please note I am grading relative to their current POTENTIAL and where they would IDEALLY be, not based on their results.
Julia Lipnitskaia: A-. Other than her quasi-meltdown in Paris, a bunch of essentially flawless skates, flutz issue aside. Great improvement in artistry. Not good enough to compete with the big 2, but a real contender for bronze at Olys, possibly silver in the case of a real, honest to god, complete meltdown.
Mao Asada: B+. Doing enough to get it done; still hasn't put together 2 really totally stand out performances in a row. Triple axle much improved.
Adelina Sotnikova: B-. Probably also doing (barely) enough to get it done, where get it done for her means getting onto the Russian Oly team. Consistency obviously remains a huge issue for her. She did make the GPF (however she did it) which was an accomplishment for her.
Elizavetta Tuktymesheva: C. Really, really having issues with consistency and placements. A real dark horse for the Olys at this point unless she pulls it together.
Ashley Wagner: B. Doign a nice, solid job, but not doing enough to really break through. She remains in contention for a bronze at the Olys hypothetically, but will need to show big improvements if she is to realize that dream.
Carolina Kostner: C+. Not doing enough to get what she wants to get done, done. Starting to look like a dark horse for an Oly medal of any color, whereas last season the question was which color.
A+ Mao, Yuzu, D/W
A Julia, V/M
A- V/T, S/S, Yuna, Chan, Oda,
B+ Gracie, Pogorilaya, Yan, I/K, P/Z, Kostner, Radionova
B Wagner, Sotnikova, Machida, W/P
B- S/K, Suzuki, Kovtun, S/H
C- Tuk, Murakami
F Zawadzki, Gao, R/T, K/S
Failure of No Return: Zhang
The Comeback Kid
Julia-- has positioned her self as the favorite after the leading ladies retire
Ashley-- Is the undisputed #1 american lady but, she is still the "almost girl internationally" Dave from skating lesson said something about Ashley and I agree with him. Ashley's weakness is the lack of something that set her appart. But she is consistent and the best in North America.
Elenas done her job with her debut, she is not going to the olympics, but demostrated that she is not out of league when competing with seniors
Anna-- same as Elena
Adelina--Dont count her out, A clean Adelina can outscore Ashley for bronze. She still top contender for the Olympic team along with Julia
Carolina-- She is Carolina Kostner, to me although her GP season wasnt stellar. She stil is top 3. If Carolina skates the way she did at World, the podium will Yuna, Caro, Mao no particular order.
Yuna Kim- Still favorite for gold, but not as strong as four years ago
Mao Asada-- Looking good for podium at least silver (bias big fan)
Among the men:
Patrick Chan - A. Both programs are great and his TEB performance was amazing. Quads are solid. But silly mistakes throughout some of his programs (like his GPF SP) keep me from giving the A+
Yuzuru Hanyu - A. Great SPs (aside from Skate Canada) and solid FS. However the troubles on the 4S keeps me from giving him an A+.
Daisuke Takahashi - A- A terrible start at Skate America but came back roaring at NHK. The quad does seem to be there for him this season.
Tatsuki Machida - A- He won both of this GP events and his quad is the most consistent among the Japanese men. His SPs have been all over the place (90+ at Skate America, 84+ at Cor and high 60s at GPF), so hence the minus.
Noburnari Oda - B+ A very solid start for our infectious smily Japanese skater. He has medeled at every GP event, including the final! However, he has not been solid on the quads this season, so can't give him an A.
Maxim Kovtun - B With the exception of his SP at GPF, Maxim can hit the quads. He can also sell his programs when he's on. But he really lacks the other qualities and has a really stiff upper body. However, again, he can hit the quads, which matters these days.
Adam Rippon - B Very solid start. Needs to get consistent on the quad, but otherwise very nice programs.
Jason Brown - B Totally clean on his SPs all season long, making him one of the top scorers there. FS not as consistent though no major meltdowns (score range 147-158). Lack of quad is a factor, but two solid clean programs with all 3As hit might get a B+ by season's end. Great choreography and non-jump elements keep him in the game despite less technical difficulty.
Han Yan - B- I really have enjoyed his programs this season. He won Cup of China, which has proven to be his best performance this season. He was sick at TEB, but then he also made mistakes at GPF as well finishing last in the field. However his 3A and 4T are amazing when he hits them and he has a lot of the other non-jump qualities.
Jeremy Abbott - C+ Not a great start at Skate Canada but improved greatly by NHK with an FS near his season's best. Quad is not consistent. His SP scores have been lackluster considering his ability.
Max Aaron - C+ In his noble efforts to improve the second mark, his consistency seems to have gone MIA. He had one awesome FS at Skate America, but that can only make up so much for what has been an okay season.
Takahiko Kozuka - C - Getting beat by two youngsters is not a great way to make a statement when you're trying to get on a the Japanese Olympic team. His SP is fantastic though. Quad definitely not consistent.
Joshua Farris - C - I'd wish he was able to compete at Rostelecom Cup because perhaps he is in better shape than why his results indicate. Skate Canada SP was dismal but he came back with a solid FS. 3As are great. Quad isn't quite there yet.
Javier Fernandez - D Totally underperforming this season considering his technical arsenal. Only a bronze at one GP event is well below what we know the reigning World bronze medalist is capable of.
Ross Miner - D Pains me to say this but based on what we've seen from him, he's really struggled this season. His scores at Skate Canada were dismal. Again it's too bad we couldn't see him in Paris, perhaps he could have had redemption.
Julia- A, she was the number one skater of the season. Yuna and Mao better watch out. She may just take that gold medal. You can feel she wants it.
Ashley - B+, she was good, but her program is still missing something. I wonder has she shown all the choreography. I don't feel I'm watching Juliet until the end. She needs to show more passion. She seems to be concentrating on her jumps. They are important, but I would like to see more passion. The middle part of her program seems very tense. It's all about her getting those jumps in. Maybe a little reworking of the jump layout might help.
Mao- B, she was good, but not great. She did not blow me away. She does have some nice footwork in her programs. I was more concerned with her outfits then her programs. She has some nice outfits.
Adelina - B-, so much potential. The triple lutz/ triple loop was fantastic. She can do all the jumps. She needs to stop thinking so much and just jump.
Gracie - C, she had just an ok season, nothing special. Her programs don't appear to be Olympic quality. Perhaps her new SP will be good. She has to find away to deal with the pressure and land those jumps. That is what people want to see from her.
Cesario - B+, she is right up there with Ashley to me. I think she performed her programs better then Ashley. Her jumps looked good to me. I don't think she got called for a lot of
Ur So far this season. She has to score better in the SP. Dont let that hold you down. But I feel that she was a little underscored. But she is a newcomer. Keep jumping Sam. Looking for her to rise up in the future.
Mirai - C-, I can't understand why she is never ready for the international season. She is a big girl now. I enjoyed her skate in Russia, but she should have given that performance in China . But maybe she and her coach weren't getting along. Mirai wears her emotions on her sleeve. Everyone was saying something was wrong, now we know.
GAO- C-, I see lots of improvements, but I expected a lot more from her. She wants the Olympics. I want to see her fighting for it. Have no regrets.
Agnes- D, will she ever get it together. I just don't know. If she skates well at nationals and makes the team I will be a nervous wreck watching her. She needs to work on her endurance. Those mistakes take a lot out of you.
Hicks- C+, I would have given her a B if I saw some improvement in presentation. She needs to hire a good choreographer who can hide her flaws if she can't do better then what I have seen. But she can at least land some jumps. I would not be mad if she made the team. She won't embarrass the country.
Liza- C, the C is for potential. She has a lot of work to do to make that Russian team. I think all her errors in competition has ruined her confidence. The little black dresses and the gloves are not doing her any favors either.
Not sure how Gracie gets a B+ with her lackluster season so far. With the exception of her SP at SC she has been all over the place and hasn't skated one decent LP yet.
Originally Posted by sky_fly20
I didn't even deem her worth grading I didn't deem my pets Nagasu and Cesario worth grading either though, so don't try and say it's personal, anyone. If I had to round out the USA women I'd say:
Originally Posted by Jammers
Gracie: B-/B. Still a lot of potential, still not enough delivery on the potential.
Sam C: B/B+. Very solid, but not yet a true breakthrough.
Nagasu: B-/C+. Great, almost mindblowing improvement at Russia which is why I am grading her so high, but dismal start to the season and still a real, possibly unfixable UR problem.
Hicks: C+. Generally solid but not memorable in the slightest. Poor showing on the GP when it mattered.
Agnes: D-. Please retire now kthanksbyeeeeeee. Ok that was mean. But I mean it, so I don't take it back.
Yuzu won the GPF but lost both GP events and has yet to skate a clean competition so I'd give him an A.
Originally Posted by sky_fly20
I'd also give V/T an A, and Chan an A for two GP wins and GPF silvers and their respective World records.
Hilarious that you give Gracie, Radionova, and Kostner a B+ and Wagner a B when Wagner had better GP results and a bronze at the GPF. Wagner gets an A- in my books.
Originally Posted by sky_fly20
But not surprised you would rank Gold's 3rd and 4th and no GPF higher than Wagner's 1st, 2nd and GPF bronze, since it is you.
I disagree with the thought that 'she made the GPF however she did it'; looking at her pool of competition it wasn't that great of competition (not trying to insult those skaters), the only big name competitors she went against was: Wagner and Kostner. Kostner has taken a step back this season. She didn't win either of her events, it would be 1 thing if she won both events and the blew the competition out of the water but she didn't.
Originally Posted by tulosai
Less expectations on Gracie and Radionova, Radionova is in her 1st year of international competition and has held her own pretty well. Wagner is the reigning US Champ, standards for her are higher than the other 2.
Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy
I largely agree with your ratings, Mrs. P, although i wouldn't be so quick to put Javi in the D category, and would add Mura there. I'd also have Takahashi, Machida and Oda in the same ranking, if we're speaking purely in terms of performance so far this season. I felt Oda was underscored in the SP at NHK and he's been quite consistent from competition to competition. Machida has performed brilliantly, but I don't know if he would've won both his outings if he was assigned to the tougher competitions. Unfortunately we didn't get to see Dai a third time at the GPF, so while I'm hoping he's in top form, one major bust and one major boom doesn't say enough about his overall shape.
Originally Posted by Mrs. P
I'd also give Han Yan a B+, or at least a B to put him on par with Kovtun. He was last in the field at GPF, but the fact that he even made it into the final already exceeded a lot of peoples' expectations.
I am sorry to say that it's looking bleak for the Americans. Last year Max Aaron was expected to do something. He didn't. Gracie Gold was the next big thing. She wasn't. Chock and Bates were headed for clear U.S. number two. Didn't get there. Davis and White went from clear favorites to not-so-clear. Ashley Wagner has not improved her medal prospects. US pairs are the same as ever. :(
Really? If anything I thought it was only when they were awarded gold at the GPF over the sublime performance of V/M that it was then quasi-official; they are the clear favorites. It seems very obvious now that clean vs clean means gold for D/W.
Originally Posted by Mathman
^ To me, it seems less obvious than at the beginning of the season. Davis and White came out with a bang, and have continued at the same level. Virtue and Moir looked awful at first and have steadily gained as the season progressed. What will happen in the next two months?