As you may have heard, there have been cancellations a-plenty at this event: Johnny Weir is out with (I presume) the same injury that kept him from completing Rostelecom Cup last week... Savchenko/Szolkowy have scratched due to illness on Savchenko’s part (and unfortunately have also taken themselves out of the ISU Grand Prix Finals because of it)... and now word is that Gumbyskaia may withdraw due to an ankle injury. So, wonder #1: what will all these WD’s mean for the podium?
For the MEN:
Has Song Nan fully recovered from his Cup of China concussion?
Has Brian Joubert fully recovered from whatever illness prompted HIS CoC withdrawal?
Has Jeremy Abbott figured out whatever it was that kept him from firing on all cylinders at Skate America?
Is it “wide open” enough for someone like Takahito Mura or Florent Amodio to medal? Or any of the other less-than-usual suspects, for that matter?
If Julia Lipnitskaia does in fact scratch this event, is there anyone else in the field that can get in Ashley Wagner’s way as she tries for a back-to-back GP win?
Such as Liza Tuktamysheva (injury issues notwithstanding)? Or maybe even Christina Gao?
Will Mae Berenice Meite skate with the kind of power that reminds us of another French skater from years gone by (Surya Bonaly)?
Can Jenna McCorkell make a splash by channelling her very recent successes on the “B” circuit (gold medals at both the Ondrej Nepala Trophy and Ice Challenge)?
Could Duhamel/Radford put up a worth challenge for gold against Kavaguti/Smirnov?
Will James/Cipres be able to keep up the good work on home ice?
Can Berton/Hotarek do as well with their throw jumps as they do their SBS jumps?
Is everyone a lot less interested now that Savchenko/Szolkowy are missing this event?
Will Cappellini/Lanotte’s Carmen FD shine brighter away from Virtue/Moir’s shadow?
Can Gilles/Poirier surprise with a bronze medal? (I really liked them when they competed in
Lake City earlier this season.)
Will there be a lot of “tongue” in the crowd during Pechalat/Bourzat’s FD? (Rolling Stones tongues, that is)
Can any of the Russian teams erase the memory of Ilinykh/Katsalapov’s haunting-for-all-the-wrong-reasons Ghost FD?