Kovtun's had his own share of huge bombs. His Worlds skate wasn't great either. He came fourth 'cause no one was there at the post-Olympics Worlds.
I think if both skate clean with similar content, Artur has the artistic edge over Kovtun. Anyway, it's too early to call, especially since they're both prone to inconsistency. Maybe I'm being optimistic because I'd much rather have four years of Artur as the top Russian man over Kovtun.
It's not so much that I dislike his programs. I dislike his movements and his style of skating. He just looks so awkward to me. Imo, it's harder to improve how you sell a program as opposed to simply getting good programs.
But yeah, we'll see. I hope Kovtun becomes more watchable, since he's more likely to stick around than poor Gachinski.
I think predicting the men is always terribly difficult - because they ALL can be so up-and-down. Not just the Russians. I mean, participating in the Prediction Game has really shown me that - I never fancied my predicting skillz, so missing them would be no surprise to me - but even for our best predictors it was virtually impossible to nail them all. Easily the most unpredictable discipline. I honestly doubt that any Russian man (barring whatever Plushy may get up to) will dominate four years - unless someone comes on in leaps & bounds and becomes very much more consistent, and where they live up to their potential. Men is my favourite discipline, and the one that disappoints me most. There is so much potential with so many skaters - and scarcely do we get to see a fraction of it realised. A few good skates, maybe, a few great ones - the occasional brilliant one. But... (shrugs)
The men are crazy with their inconsistency. Who would have ever predicted even the possability of Ten to be on the podium at either last years worlds or this years Olympics, and he was robbed of winning gold at worlds, and won his Olympic bronze with a bad short and unclean long to boot.
^Pretty much agree regarding the men's events. It's almost always a splatfest, with the ones that survive winning. The only difference between Sochi and previous Olympics is that even the top two weren't clean.
I wouldn't mind Gachinski and Kovtun alternating as top skater for the next few years. Will keep them both on their toes, and they'll push each other to be better. Maybe in the process, one--or both--will develop some amount of consistency, but I probably shouldn't get my hopes up.