Skate America predictions

Assuming no one else withdraws(especially sad to lose Joshi):

Men: Jason Brown, Tatsuki Machida, Jeremy Abbott.  I suppose I’m being a little optimistic about the American guys here, but Brown is on his way up, and I think here the home ice advantage(especially for him since he has roots in the area) will push him over.  Abbott and/or the other two might find themselves behind Denis Ten, of course, but Ten is still on the inconsistent side and is developing a tendency to deliver only at events more important than this one. 🙂  Also looking forward to: Welcome to the senior circuit, Michael Christian Martinez!

Ladies: Gracie Gold, Elena Radionova, Elizaveta Tuktamisheva.  As I said yesterday, this may prove slightly harder for Gold to win than the USFSA was anticipating, but she should still do it if she’s on, and thanks to Frank Carroll she’s now on more often than not.  Nearly predicted the two Russian ladies to go the other way, but I don’t think Liza T has quite caught back up with Radionova yet, she definitely hasn’t momentum-wise, and the Russian politicking will probably be working harder for Radionova.  Also looking forward to: Samantha Cesario.  I wouldn’t mind at all if she finished 4th here, though I don’t think she can get higher unless one of the top three(and a few other people) really blows it.

Pairs: Yuko Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnov, Cheng Peng & Hao Zhang, Alexa Scimeca & Chris Knierim.  A weak field, and bronze is especially a crap shoot; I almost predicted Denney & Frazier(perhaps I should just say bronze will go to an American team).  But Yuko & Alex have the most history of success and despite a little aging and some rising from the rest of the field really are still the best team competing here, and even if Peng & Zhang were pretty strong last year he’s aging too.  Also looking forward to: all three American pairs, really, and how well each does.

Ice Dance: Madison Chock & Evan Bates, Alexandra Stepanova & Ivan Bukin, Maia & Alex Shibutani.  Lucky break for Chock & Bates here that Bobrova & Soloviev withdrew; the open space at the top of US ice dance is clearly theirs to take, and keeping us the US custom of winning at Skate America will be a huge boost too.  It’s probably even to their benefit that if their Finlandia performance is any indication, Stepanova & Bukin will probably keep the American teams from going 1-2.  Also looking forward to: both Canadian teams; they both impressed me at their summerskates.

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