Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Role of Cup of Russia Will Now be Played by... the Rostelecom Cup

Sure, Patrick Chan is sitting this one out. True, Dombalin are opting to rest a certain arthritic knee rather than compete. And no, Meissner won’t be there either. Why should we let these things stop the fun? Here come the Rostelecom predictions:

Gold: Davis/White (USA)
Silver: Crone/Poirer (FRA)
Bronze: Cappellini/Lanotte (ITA)

Davis/White should win this one easily. As for silver/bronze, it’s really a coin toss. I haven’t see either team lately; just know they were pretty evenly matched last year. (Russian’s Domnina/Shabalin was scheduled to compete here but have withdrawn—incidentally, they’ve now withdrawn from NHK as well. Shabalin’s troublesome knee is apparently to blame for both.)

For MEN:
Gold: Evgeni Plushenko (RUS)
Silver: Takahiko Kozuka (JPN)
Bronze: Johnny Weir (USA)

I’d like to say that I look forward to seeing the likes of Weir or Kozuka upset His Evgeniness, but word on the street is that Plushy is back in fighting form. Brandon Mroz (current U.S. silver medalist) could prove a spoiler for that bronze. We all know he’s beaten Weir before…

Gold: Pang/Tong (CHN)
Silver: Kavaguti/Smirnov (RUS)
Bronze: McLaughlin/Brubaker (USA)

I tend to instinctively lean towards the Chinese pairs these days over the Russians, but if K/S can pull a throw quad salchow out of their collective hats, this may be a lot closer than I’m bargaining for. McBru, for their part, seemed at the best early in the season last year. If that holds true, look for them to make the podium as well.

Gold: Mao Asada (JPN)
Silver: Miki Ando (JPN)
Bronze: Ashley Wagner (USA)

Yep, I’m picking Wagner over Czisny. Though Nationals was hardly proof of it, I think Wagner’s the more consistent skater. And while both ladies have been downgraded numerous times with regard to their jumps, Czisny has the most recent ones (with several just happening at Nebelhorn Trophy a few weeks ago). Was it tentativeness, or technique? Perhaps her placement at Rostelecom will provide the answer.

As for Asada… while I’m admittedly not fond of her current FS, she’ll again have three opportunities to rack up a fierce amount of points with her triple axels. If she hits only ONE of them cleanly (as was the case last week), it could make all the difference between first and Miki Ando. Not necessarily the fairest way to go, but them’s the rules as y’all know.

Oh, and since my Magic 8-Ball did a better job with the prediction of the Men’s event than I did last week (as I feared would be the case), let’s see how it does at predicting the outcome of the Pairs this week:

Gold: Pang/Tong (CHN)
Silver: McLaughlin/Brubaker (USA)

Bronze: Martiusheva/Rogonov (RUS)

Hmm. 8-Ball seems to be putting its Monopoly money on an unknown Russian team rather than KavSmir. Such high stakes for a little black-and-white sphere.

Here’s where to watch: (all times Eastern)

5:30AM Compulsory Dance
7:45 Men’s SP
9:35 Pairs’ SP
11:00 Ladies’ SP
12:50 Original Dance

6:45AM Men's FS
9:00 Pairs' FS
10:40 Free Dance
12:40 Ladies' FS

Friday: 7-9 PM Saturday: 5-7 PM Sunday: 5-7 PM
And on NBC …
Sunday,12-2 PM

For the Clip of the Day we have Rachel Flatt’s SP from last year’s Cup of Russia We’ll have to wait one more week to see her GP debut for the season, though…


Laura said...

"his Evgeniness." LOVE IT.

Sharon said...

Well, Kelli, you're doing okay with the men and pairs...I know the ladies have surprised you, as they have all of us! For dance, D/W are blowing the field away but I think Rubleva/Shefer are going to pull off the bronze if they skate well. Crone/Poirer aren't looking any improved to me this year, especially her, and I think they'll give the silver to C/L if they do okay.

Kelli Lawrence said...

Yeah...looks like I need a better coin for that coin toss, doesn't it? :-)

As for the ladies-- I'm not sure Sebestyen will persevere all the way through, especially since her lead is anything but commanding. I'm a little surprised to see Czisny over Wagner with those 3s on the 2x Axel, but she seems to have gained some consistency with the judges in regards to the quality of her footwork, spins, etc. Can't fault her for that. Still think Wagner should be above Leonova, though.