Thursday, November 11, 2010

Skate America 2010: Airtimes and Predictions

Keeping up with Skate America (SKAM, as I like to call it) is likely to prove especially challenging this weekend… my dad has passed away, and I will likely be incommunicado for the next several days—not sure when I’ll be able to see the actual event.

So—if I don’t get an analysis posted, that’s why.

Nonetheless, I have IceNetwork’s streaming schedule: (All times Eastern, but the event is in Portland Oregon… Pacific Time… which explains the relatively late starts on these.)

Friday, Nov. 12
10:00 p.m. Pairs Short Program
11:45 p.m. Men’s Short Program

Saturday, Nov. 13

5:00 p.m.: Ladies Short Program
6:45 p.m.: Short Dance
10:00 p.m.: Men's Free Skate
12:30 a.m.: Pairs Free Skate

Sunday, Nov. 14

2:00 p.m.: Free Dance

And the Universal Sports coverage looks like this (and, shockingly similar):

Friday, Nov. 12
10 p.m.-1:30 a.m..: Men’s and Pairs Short Program (LIVE)

Saturday, Nov. 13
5-8:30 p.m.: Ladies Short Program and Short Dance (LIVE)
10 p.m.-12 a.m.: Men’s Free Skate (LIVE)
12:30- 2 a.m.: Pairs Free Skate (LIVE)

Sunday, Nov. 14
2-3:30 p.m.: Free Dance (LIVE)

And finally, NBC will cover the Ladies Free skate on Sunday from 4-6 PM.

Here’s my attempt to better my 4-for-12 of last week with the predictions…

For the LADIES:

Gold: Rachael Flatt (USA)
Silver: Carolina Kostner (ITA)
Bronze: Amelie Lacoste (CAN)

If those predictions look like a mash-up of medalists from the first few GP events, it’s because they’re kind of just that. But with Laura Lepisto scratched from the event, I’m hard-pressed to find any other true contenders. As for putting Flatt over Kostner when the opposite just happened at NHK—I hear you. I know Kostner’s invariably going to get better component scores than Flatt, and if she plays it safe again, may win another gold. I’m hopeful, though, that Flatt’s willingness to take risks with a wider range of jumps (including possibly a triple lutz/triple loop combo she’s been working on) will pay off. Last time, Flatt made a couple of technical errors (the kind they like to say are unexpected because she’s “so solid”) and lost to Kostner by about 3.5 points. I want to see what happens here if she skates clean. Or at least “cleaner”.


Gold: Savchenko/Szolkowy (GER)
Silver: Sui/Han (CHN)
Bronze: Denney/Barrett (USA)

Despite their difficulties last season, Sav/Szol are to this event in pairs what Davis/White are in Dance… virtually unchallenged by any other team. I’m putting Sui/Han in the silver spot on the strength of their Cup of China appearance last week—risky, if only because they might suffer the same back-to-back effects that the young Russian team recently did. But I doubt if any team will have the artistic marks to challenge Sui/Han’s technical difficulty. Even if they miss a fair amount of stuff, I still think they’ll have the edge. Denney/Barrett, I’m hoping, have dusted themselves off from their disappointing debut and will do better this time—they’re completely capable of winning a medal in this field. (But Skate Canada stars Moore-Towers/Moscovitch could easily step on the podium again if D/B aren’t somewhere near their best.)

For MEN:

Gold: Daisuke Takahashi (JPN)
Silver: Nobunari Oda (JPN)
Bronze: Adam Rippon (USA)

It’s hard to bet against Dice-K these days… so I won’t! Oda is of course a formidable opponent who should already have his own GP gold medal this season… but side by side, I’ve gotta go with Takahashi here. As for Rippon-- even at his best (which is, of course, extremely good), he’s not attempting a quad yet as far as I know… and this is one of those times when it will probably keep him from any better than a bronze finish.

Rounding out the top 5 is tougher this time, but I’ll go ahead and suggest Canada’s Shawn Sawyer (who earned silver here last year, and made the top 5 at NHK a few weeks ago)… and “the other” Daisuke (Murakami) of Japan might prove a strong contender too.


Gold: Davis/White (USA)
Silver: Crone/Poirier (CAN)
Bronze: Weaver/Poje (CAN)

Um… what? An all-North American podium for dance? Well, consider the following: 1) Cappellini/Lanotte of Italy have withdrawn from the lineup—apparently they are re-tooling their free dance after an unsatisfactory outing at NHK. 2) Consequently, there are only 9 teams competing here—and 5 of the 9 are from either Canada or USA. 3) Of the other 4, only one team—the young Russians Riazanova/Tkachenko— seem even close to contenders.

I should add that I may pay special attention to not only D/W (who have tweaked their free dance since NHK), but Crone/Poirier—sorry to say I didn’t see all the wonder and magic in their “Eleanor Rigby” free skate that the judges (not to mention commentator Tanith Belbin) saw at Skate Canada.

Take care, everyone, and I’ll be back to post next week as soon as I can…


Anonymous said...

You take care, too, Kelli, and don't worry about your blog. Care for your family and mourn your father, and life will go on without you for a few days. I'm very sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your dad!
Thank you for your blog Kelli. Please take care.

Sharon said...

Kelli, so very sorry to hear about your dad. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. Take care and we'll see you when you return.

Santa Eulalia said...

Takahashi I have to go here. What Rippon - even his best (that is, of course, very good

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