This is not a prediction thread for Turin. It is who you would rate the five best skaters per event, in order, after the 2004/2005 season. It is based on personal opinion of course:
1)Shen/Zhou-They had to miss Worlds, Totmianina/Marinin have won the last two Worlds, and are 3-2 head to head with them in the new quadrennial. Why are they the best then? Well Totmianina/Marinin's winning scores at Europeans and Worlds for example were clearly below Shen/Zhou's from the GP final for starters. Secondly the most memorable performances I remember from Shen/Zhou, and having done many of them, I cannot remember Max and Tatiana coming close to.
2)Totmiana/Marinin-They deserve atleat this spot. As I mentioned they won the last two Worlds, are even have a 3-2 edge head to head, over Shen/Zhou, since the start of the 2002/2003 season.
3)Petrova/Tikhonov-They have been 3rd at 2 of the last 3 Worlds, and 2 of the last 3 GP finals, along with a silver this year when one of the big two withdrew.
They rarely challenge the big two, but they only occasionaly lose to somebody else.
4)Zhang/Zhang-They seem to have surpassed Pang/Tong.
5)Pang/Tong-They seem to be on the decline.
1)Irina Slutskaya-She has done atleast 2 competions this year, where none of the other top skaters have matched those performances in any of their events all year. Undefeated all year, incredable long program to win Worlds. No brainer, of course she is the best skater in the World now.
2)Sasha Cohen-Since she has beaten Kwan at the last 2 Worlds, and including Cheesefests, 4 of their last 8 meetings, excluding cheesefests, 2 of their last 4, I give her the nod now.
3)Michelle Kwan-Read above.
4)Shizuka Arakawa-Maybe this is generous, but she did win a World title only 14 months ago, and she was 2nd at the GP final with only Cohen and Kwan out of the circuit. She also is one of the more complete skaters when she skates well, even if she is not on her game right now.
5)Carolina Kostner-The World bronze medalist deserves a spot and I am not sure who else I would put.
1)Navka/Kostomarov-I dont think they are the best anymore, but the judges do, and they have only 1 loss in 2 seasons. Of course they are #1.
2)Belbin/Agosto-Only lost to Navka/Kostomarov this year. So of course they are #2.
3)Delobel/Schoenfelder-They were so obviously robbed at their last two events I cant not put them in the top 3. Their free performances at the Europeans and Worlds were the highlight performances of the year IMO.
4)Denkova/Stayvinski-I want to put them higher, but they are going through a difficult period right now. They are the only team, other than Navka/Kostomarov with 2 World medals right now, and they have medaled at every GP final or Europeans they have finished since the 2002/2003 season. However they seem to be sliding fast.
5)Grushina/Goncharov-They were 3rd at Worlds, as for why they are not higher, read the two teams above.
1)Plushenko-Nobody has touched his top scores this year.
2)Lambiel-His long program in qualifying was the highest long program score, minus Plushenko, this year. His short program score was the highest of anybody but Plushenko this year; his combined short/final long program score was the highest of anybody this year; and he is the new World Champion.
3)Joubert-He had such a horrable Worlds it is hard to rate him any higher; but he has so many top accomplishments in international competition, like his 2 European silvers and World silver last year, it is hard to rate him any lower.
4)Buttle-He did come 2nd at the two biggest events of the year, albeit not having to face both of the Worlds best skaters(Plushenko missed one, Lambiel the other)in either event.
5)Weir-Took advantage of alot of absences at his GP events to have a very good GP season.