I am so unbelievably excited for this weekend. I hesitated for the longest time to buy tickets but when I saw that Yuzuru and Tessa & Scott were on the roster, I was sold. Unlike Skate America last week, the roster here seems to be more focused on creating a pretty decent field with a seeded event. (Though right now, I’m good with the U.S. winning all the medals. Seriously, darling southern neighbours, you guys are already great. K? Hugs.) Now, onwards to predictions!
- Gold will be a battle of the possible PCS (aka Patrick Chan Score) vs. Hanyu and ALL the quads.
- Dark horse: Takahito Mura. Though he could just as easily bomb.
- Han Yan could also surprise us if he could hold it together and skate two decently clean programs. There’s not that much pressure or expectation on him, which I think does him good.
- Misha Ge will be a crowd pleaser, regardless of how he does in the rankings.
Gold: Yuzuru Hanyu
Silver: Patrick Chan
Bronze: Takahito Mura
- The ladies roster is seriously amazing for a GP event. I feel so spoiled.
- I’ve discovered that Evgenia Medvedeva’s skating is lovely but her choreography is a mess. Back-loaded programs, weird music cuts and jarring choreography make it hard to appreciate a really talented athlete. I’m not a fan of her LP this season but the judges seem to disagree.
- Katelyn Osmond won the Finlandia Trophy after sitting out two seasons due to injury. I like how she skates with attack, though whether her PCS will be deserved is another question.
- Satoko… Seeing her live, I see what so many of my readers meant when they say that she didn’t really stand out. She doesn’t project to the crowd as much live but her skating skills are still impeccable.
- Dark horse: Rika Hongo. Though many will have to fail for her to medal. She’s also nearing that time when puberty really starts to hit hard on ladies skaters.
- Sentimental favourites: Mirai Nagasu, who has improved a lot last season and is skating with more control and consistency, and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva – so much star power, though often wasted.
Gold: Evgenia Medvedeva
Silver: Satoko Miyahara
Bronze: Katelyn Osmond
- The pairs field at Skate America was really watered down so we didn’t get to see as many beefed up elements to combat the dominance of Duhamel & Radford. That should change this week a little bit.
- Home ice advantage and humongous TES. And a field that’s relatively weak, especially when you look at this roster compared to the ladies. I’m pretty sure we all know who will very likely win this weekend.
- Hao Zhang is a bit of a sentimental favourite. I like how supportive he was with Cheng Peng even though the partnership didn’t last. I hope this one works out.
- I was truly impressed when watching Liubov Ilyushechkina & Dylan Moscovitch at Worlds this year. They’re really starting to gel into a very graceful team and I look forward to seeing them again. They have the advantage of being a decently strong team with home ice advantage among a weak field.
- I have no clue what to expect from Yuko Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnov. I’m just upset that I missed seeing Sasha stomp on the ice. #allthedrama
- Denney & Frazier will either be super exhausted or going off their momentum from their silver last week.
Gold: Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford
Silver: Liubov Ilyushechkina & Dylan Moscovitch
Bronze: Haven Denney & Brandon Frazier
Now watch Kavaguti & Smirnov ruin my predictions. They always do whether I place them on the podium or not.
- Tessa & Scott are back! Their scores at the ACI indicate that the judges deem them good enough to straight back to the upper echelons of the sport, which should be a good sign here.
- Please save us from Chock & Bates. I’m sure they’re lovely people but their programs are not my cup of tea. They’re pretty good technically, and that counts for something.
- Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte will be eager to prove themselves here and regain the footing after losing the World and European titles to the French. They might have trouble being on the podium here even, with a talented roster in the ice dance field.
- They may not be the best team, even in their country, and they may have never been on a World podium but Gilles & Poirier have really shown themselves to be a dynamic and creative team. I think the home crowd will be super appreciative of what they have in store for us and that, in turn, gives them a pretty good shot at the podium here.
Gold: Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir
Silver: Madison Chock & Evan Bates
Bronze: Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte
What are your predictions for this stacked competition? Let me know in the comments!
~The Rinkside Cafe