Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dice-K at NHK (and Some Less Catchy Predictions)

Totally selfish of me, but I must admit I’ll be pleased next week when the GP moves into North America for its last two stops. The IceNetwork live streaming times are so early for much of NHK Trophy, my best bet to catch some events as they happen is to stay up late!

More on streaming & airdates later. Here are the predictions:

Gold: Davis/White (USA)
Silver: Kerr/Kerr (GBR)
Bronze: Crone/Poirier (CAN)

No wild and crazy guesses here; D/W have already proven their ability to win this year; even if they are way off their game (as happened once last year in the GP with them), I don’t think they can be overtaken by The Kerrs. C/P were 20 points behind The Kerrs if you compare their earlier GP efforts this season.

For MEN:

Gold: Daisuke Takahashi (JPN)
Silver: Jeremy Abbott (USA)
Bronze: Brian Joubert (FRA)

This is much, much harder to call. I should add that if these three do indeed turn up on the podium, 4th and 5th places better be Takahiko Kozuka and Adam Rippon in some fashion. It hurts me not to predict them higher, but Dice-K’s got quad consistency—and I’m guessing he’ll be on fire in his first post-surgery major competition on home soil. Though I’m very much over Joubert at this point, he supposedly always does sub-par at TEB because of the pressure—if that’s true, maybe he can hold it together enough here for bronze. But not enough for JeremEEE to slip past him for silver.


Gold: Pang/Tong (CHN)
Silver: Kavaguti/Smirnov (RUS)
Bronze: Inoue/Baldwin (USA)

WHAT?! I/B for a medal?? Is the rest of the field comprised of junior-level skaters or something? Well… let’s just say I haven’t heard of many of them. If any break through well enough to medal, it’ll be significant for sure. (Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett, I’m looking at you…)


Gold: Miki Ando (JPN)
Silver: Yukuri Nakano (JPN)
Bronze: Ashley Wagner (USA)

What do I see when I look at the entrants here? A field with at least three dark horses… Laura Lepisto (FIN), Alena Leonova (RUS), and Sarah Meier (SWI). But among those three, only Leonova is on her second GP event, and while I think she’s an interesting up-and-comer, I don’t know if she can reach the podium unless Wagner has a bad day. And even then, Lepisto may be able to do what Meier did last week. (Or Meier, if she’s injury-free. Has anyone heard?)
I’m going with Ando for the top, but if the home country pressure gets to her, Nakano may have her day in the sun instead.

As for the Magic 8-Ball predictions: let’s go back to the MEN and see what we get…

Gold: Abbott
Silver: Kozuka
Bronze: Joubert

Does the 8-Ball have JeremEEEE fever a little early? "Without a doubt"--!

Here are those live streaming times for IceNetwork:

Friday, Nov. 6
12:30 a.m.: Compulsory dance
1:45 a.m.: Pairs short program
3:10 a.m.: Men's short program
5:05 a.m.: Ladies short program
10:45 p.m.: Original dance

Saturday, Nov. 7
12:15 a.m.: Pairs free skate
1:55 a.m.: Men's free skate
4:50 a.m.: Ladies free skate
11:00 p.m.: Free dance

And the times to watch if you have Universal Sports:

Friday, Nov. 6
5pm to 7pm
8pm to 10pm
11pm to 1am

Saturday, Nov. 7
2pm to 4pm
5pm to 7pm (Men and Pairs Free)

Sunday, Nov. 8
5pm to 7pm (Ladies and Men Free)

NBC will also be offering coverage from 2pm to 4pm Sunday.

The Clip of the Day is Wagner’s FS from this event last year… “Electrifying program, but technically, not enough in there to compete with the two Japanese girls that we’ve seen so far,” says the UK Commentator at the end. What will this year bring us? Stay tuned…

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