Thursday, November 10, 2011

NHK Trophy 2011 Preview

Get your stuffed animals ready to throw… it’s time for the NHK Trophy!

First, here’s where to watch (particularly if you live in the U.S.):

On Ice (subscription required):

Friday, Nov. 11

12:55 a.m.: Short dance
2:45 a.m.: Pairs short program
5:15 a.m.: Ladies short program
10 p.m.: Free dance

Saturday, Nov. 12
12:05 a.m.: Pairs free skate
2:30 a.m.: Men's short program
5:00 a.m.: Ladies free skate
10:55 p.m.: Men's free skate

On Universal Sports (available over-the-air or via dish/satellite, depending on where you live):

Saturday, Nov. 12
6- 8 p.m.: Pairs Free Skate & Free Dance

Sunday, Nov. 13
6-8 p.m.: Men’s Free Skate

NBC will carry the Ladies Free Skate from 2-4 p.m. Sunday 11/13… with a Universal repeat of it scheduled from 9:30-11:30 p.m.

As for the competitors…


Who’s there: Tomas Verner, Samuel Contesti, Takahiko Kozuka, Daisuke Takahashi, Tatsuki Machida, Konstantin Menshov, Armin Mahbanoozadeh, Ross Miner, and Brandon Mroz. (Adrian Schultheiss has withdrawn with a back injury.)

Top 5 guess in alphabetical order: Kozuka, Machida, Mroz, Takahashi, Verner
Dark Horse: Contesti
Has a quad, or quads: Kozuka, Takahashi, Mroz, Machida, Menshov
Has a quad maybe: Verner, Mahbanoozadeh
Senior GP Debut: None
Favorite: Gotta be a toss-up between Kozuka and Dice-K, neither of which skated their best at Sk8AM a few weeks back but are still the standouts in this lineup.
Other: A lot of eyes are likely to be on Mroz, if only to see if he can land his quad lutz at a GP event.


Who’s there: Cynthia Phaneuf, Kiira Korpi, Mae Berenice Meite, Elene Gedevanishvili, Mao Asada, Akiko Suzuki, Shoko Ishikawa, Alena Leonova, Ashley Wagner, Agnes Zawadzki

Top 5 guess in alphabetical order: Asada, Leonova, Suzuki, Wagner, Zawadzki
Dark Horse: Korpi or Phaneuf
Who might have a 3/3 (triple/triple): Ummmm…. Maybe no one here?
Senior GP Debut: None
Favorite: With Asada still a wild card as far as I know, this is tough. I’ll go with Suzuki, but if Asada is back on track…or Leonova has a great day… all bets are off.
Other: Back in the summer it appeared that Korpi and Tomas Verner would both be competing with a hip-hop version of Carmina Burana, but it appears that Korpi has now opted to stick with her Over the Rainbow SP from last year. In other “colorful” news, look for Zawadzki to use Rhapsody in Blue for her FS.


Who’s there: Purich/Schultz, Savchenko/Szolkowy, Berton/Hotarek, Takahashi/Tran, Iliushechkina/Maisuradze, Kavaguti/Smirnov, Castelli/Shnapir, Denney/Coughlin (who got the invite here with Pang/Tong pulled out of their GP events)

Top 4 guess in alphabetical order: Denney/Coughlin, Iliushechkina/Maisuradze, Kavaguti/Smirnov, Savchenko/Szolkowy,
Dark Horse: Berton/Hotarek
Senior GP Debut: Purich/Schultz (of Canada)
Favorite: It’ll be all about Sav/Szol and Kava/Smir, with Sav/Szol most likely improving on their Sk8AM performance to win yet again.
Other…: I read that Sav/Szol seemed to really be at odds with each other during the Sk8AM trip. If any of you have more info or an update, please share! I’ll probably be watching their warm-up and Kiss-n-Cry body language more than usual this time…


Who’s there: Paul/Islam, Weaver/Poje, Zhiganshina/Gazsi, Alessandrini/Vaturi, Reed/Reed, Ilinykh/Katsalapov, Kriengkrairut/Giulietti-Schmitt, Shibutani/Shibutani

Top 4 guess in alphabetical order: Ilinykh/Katsalapov, Paul/Islam, Shibutani/Shibutani, Weaver/Poje
Dark Horse: Zhiganshina/Gazsi
Senior GP Debut: Alessandrini/Vaturi (of Italy)
Favorite: Both the Shib Sibs and Weaver/Poje have picked up silver medals in the past few GP weeks, but I think W/P will have the definite advantage.

I'll post my post-event analysis as soon as I can... enjoy NHK!!

No comments: