Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Sylvia, Sep 16, 2012.
IINM, Brandon Mroz finished third at Midwestern Sectionals with a Total Score of 200.32.
I was looking at this protocol again and realized that Aaron didn't receive the 10% bonus for his 3Lo at the end of his Mids FS. His jumps were 4S+3T (16.35 points with the added + GOE), 2S, then 6 jumping passes in the second half: 3A+2T, 3Lz, 3A, 3Lz+1Lo+3S, 3F(e), 3Lo (5.10 Base Value should have been 5.61, which would have bumped his Total BV over 80 and TES score over 90). Alex Johnson's FS protocol is also impressive, numbers-wise (Brandon Mroz and William Brewster are the other 2 qualifiers from Mids to Nationals).
His PCS were quite good at his senior Bs. I know people think that Max and Keegan especially have a lot of work to do PCS wise, but looking at international scores, there PCS are pretty strong, and with the exception of Jeremy, most of our current guys are getting comparable PCS internationally (among Dornbush, Miner, Rippon, Farris, etc). I know their skating maybe looks messy or not particularly artistic, but speed and power can often translate to strong PCS even if said skater lacks refinement (case in point - Gracie Gold).
Anyways it sounds like Farris gave up on really pushing to make the Sochi Olympic team when he stayed junior this season (be it his own choice or someone else's), of course, if there are 3 spots on the team and Evan and Johnny are likely out of the picture, that could change. He said he wanted to go to JW again this year though and hopes to win. Maybe he is just being realistic and doesn't want to get his hopes up, but it at least seems like he's not really expecting to get to senior Worlds this season, though I'd doubt he'd turn down the opportunity if offered though. I would be surprised if he's top 2 anyways, but I do think maybe 3rd-5th is possible, meaning he could get 4CC and JW, which I really think would be best for him this season. If the Sochi team has 2 spots, he likely won't make that team and will focus on 2018, but if we do get 3 spots, and he does well at JGPF, Nats, and 4CC and/or JW, then that would set him up nicely and he could have a legitimate shot.
I'm interested to see how the JGPF goes first. Josh seems more consistent this season but he admitted to struggling with nerves at the JGP in Slovenia, where unlike Lake Placid there was a deep field, most notably Han Yan but also Boyang Jin who has a quad and Keiji Tanaka who has potential to be really good if he ever puts it together. Regardless, he held it together, won, put out a clean SP and a respectable FS, but the free was not as good as it could have been, he's definitely capable of a lot better. He's the 1st qualifier in the JGPF, but Kovtun earned a higher score at one event, has 3a and 4t, and will be skating at home. If Kovtun skates well at the final, I wouldn't be surprised to see him get huge scores like 80 for SP and 150-160 for FS. If all the guys were to skate their best, Josh would probably win, but at the last two JGPFs he had some problems, much like he's had at Nats since becoming a senior. These upcoming competitions should give us a better idea of how strong and reliable a competitor he has or hasn't become and then along with everyone else we should get a better idea of what's likely to go down between now and Sochi.
The way I see it at this point, the "contenders" for the World/Olympic team can be divided as follows, 3 groups with 2 subgroups in each. Just my opinion, feel free to comment and voice yours:
Lysacek (if returns and on-form)
Unlikely, but possible:
Weir (if actually goes through with comeback)
Brown (provided he's having success with 3a in competition)
Mroz (just because he can do a lot of quads)
Re Adam: I thought he looked more loose and relaxed in his fp at NHK than he did at CoR, plus he landed both 3-axels with what seemed like a slight two-footing on the first one and landing a bit forward on the second, but still he looked more confident going into them and he made the revolutions. I also like his change of costume for the fp at NHK. He brought a bit of sparkle back on his top, and the black gave him a nice profile on the ice. He seemed much more comfortable with the program, and I thought he deserved higher PCS scores.
If Adam continues to improve and is strong at Nationals, it will be so interesting to see what happens. I think Adam has beautiful artistry but he needs a consistent 3-axel plus the quad has also become essential. I don't know if Adam has been working as much on training his quad for this season, as he has been trying to master proper technique on his 3-axel. It's too bad that the judges seem to ignore superb PCS quality if they feel a skater is not as consistent technically.
I really hope that the world team is Miner and Farris. I am really tired of seeing Abbott and Alissa on TV every week making different excuses for why they didn't skate well. I just hope this nightmare era of them being at the top of US skating will end soon so that we can have some skating stars who can compete well..
I'm still hoping Dornbush can bounce back at Nats, I prefer him to Miner but Miner is definitely a lot more consistent at this point. As for Farris I want to see how he does at the JGPF next week first. If he can pull a Dornbush and win in a dominant fashion, that could help him going into Nats, especially because like the year Dornbush won, there are no senior men in the GPF. But if he doesn't win or even medal, or wins but only because it's a splatfest, then maybe JW is the best thing for him this season. Time will tell. Though I will say he rebounded really well at JW after not skating well at Nats last season, so a lackluster JGPF could lead to a similar result come Nats in January (and honestly, regardless of Worlds, I'd like to see him skate well at Nationals just to see where he ends up when he isn't bombing). Of course it would be nice if he could skate well at both comps, but I feel like there isn't much pressure on him going into JGPF, so his skating there may speak to his relative consistency.
I agree about Abbott though, I think his time has past. Sure, Contesti and KVDP were able to pull out the occasional good competition (or usually it was just one program) in their final years, but mostly it was a lot of bombing and disappointing scores, we are seeing that from Verner and Joubert this season, Johnny during his brief comeback, and now Jeremy. He's so much better than what he's been putting out, but between being 28 and his natural inconsistency, and everyone pushing for quads, it's just, he seems like a shadow of his former self. He still scores well when he hits, but unfortunately that isn't very frequently these days.
What do people think about a Miner and Dornbush World team?
Alissa? Don't look now, but she hasn't skated all season.
I'm fine with a combination for the Worlds team of...
Who knows what the golden duo for 3 spots is...
Well, the three spots will depend not only on how well the US guys skate but also on what the other guys do. There are well over 10 skaters who could end up in the top 10.
Interesting how Armin is all but out of these conversations for Worlds/Olympics even though he was 4th last year and has had more success with his quad than some of the other guys, also, his 3a finally seems to be consistent now. His pesky little injuries this fall have taken a toll on his skating, I feel like. If he's fully healthy by Nats, he could be in the mix too I think.
Also with so many guys messing up the SP this season, I wonder if btwn now and Sochi things will change and more men will take the quad out of the SP and go for a clean SP. I doubt we'll see a lot of men reverting to quadless FS like was common in 2010, I bet they will continue to go for 1, 2, or even 3 quads there along with 1 or 2 3as, but idk, seems like a clean SP with no quad can usually score better than a flawed one with a quad.
This is what I'm hoping for, with Farris and Aaron as alternates. I agree with those that said who cares about 3 spots at this point. Abbott, Lysacek, and Weir are no guarantees to get the 3rd spot back so might as well start promoting the new guys, not the old ones.
I think Hanyu has the right idea with doing footwork into the quad and the 3-3 later on. I think the quad in combo is too much pressure maybe, although I don't know if the footwork is even harder to accomplish for some?
I took a glance at the ISU best list for this season. The US men aren't in such bad shape as I thought.
1. 262.35 Patrick CHAN CAN
2. 261.03 Yuzuru HANYU JPN
3. 253.94 Javier FERNANDEZ ESP
4. 251.51 Daisuke TAKAHASHI JPN
5. 251.44 Takahiko KOZUKA JPN
6. 238.34 Nobunari ODA JPN
7. 236.92 Tatsuki MACHIDA JPN
8. 235.37 Ross MINER USA
9. 230.68 Takahito MURA JPN
10. 227.63 Jeremy ABBOTT USA
When you only include the top 3 JPN men (which will be the case at Worlds), Ross and Jeremy are 6th and 7th respectively. That totals 13 pts. and 3 spots if things just keep going like this. Of course, Brezina and Amodio have really underperformed thus far and we can't rule them out but the US isn't doing too badly (for some reason, in my mind, it was worse)
Whoa, olympic! can you please reformat your post?
FWIW, here are the top 3 FS international scores among the U.S. men so far this season:
168.80 Dornbush (Finlandia) 92.12 TES
161.96 Miner (NHK Trophy) 86.74 TES
156.58 Aaron (Salt Lake Sr B) 83.58 TES
Next, these are the 9 men who've scored 140+ in a FS internationally, ranked by their TES score:
Dornbush (NHK Trophy) 78.29 TES
Mahbanoozadeh (Salt Lake Sr B) 76.43
Carriere (Nebelhorn) 75.93
Farris (JGP Lake Placid) 75.49
Rippon (NHK Trophy) 75.22
Messing (Nebelhorn) 74.52
Miner (Skate Canada) 73.91
Dornbush (Rostelecom Cup) 73.89
Messing (Cup of Nice) 71.33
Aaron (Cup of Nice) 71.01
Miner (Salt Lake Sr B) 69.09
Abbott (TEB) 63.75
Top Domestic FS scores:
157.70 [should be 158.21] Aaron 89.58 TES [should be 90.09] (Midwestern Sectionals)
151.42 Dornbush 76.16 TES (Glacier Falls)
151.39 Alexander Johnson 75.23 TES (Midwestern Sectionals)
Also, Jason Brown (TES unknown) and Grant Hochstein (74.25 TES) have scored over 140 in club competition exhibition free skates (eta: Brown also scored 149.09 in his Regionals FS exhibition in October, TES unknown).
Maybe I'll get around to breaking down short program scores similarly later...
see above. Sorry!
For Hanyu this is smart, but idk, it seems like most guys are going for a quad in the SP now regardless of how consistent it is. Dornbush's quad seems fairly consistent so I get him trying it in the SP I guess, but I don't really understand why Abbott, Miner, and Mahbanoozadeh are going for it in the SP when their respective quads are really not that consistent yet. I think they'd be smarter to go for a clean skate with a 3-3 in the SP and save the quads for the FS. Of course, if a skater is prone to edge calls on his 3f or 3lz, and doesn't feel as comfortable doing a 3lo, or the 3a is not so consistent that a quad could help balance out potential issues on that jump, or doesn't have great spins, I can see putting the quad in just to have a better odds should it work, but otherwise, I'm a bit confused. Seems like SP scores in the 60s and low 70s are very common this season among the men, whereas when most were going for the 3-3, scores were more commonly mid 70s-80s.
I enjoy both Miner and Dornbush, but IMHO, Miner has always been more consistent. But Ricky won Junior GPF with a great fp to Sherlock Holmes 2010 - 2011. That fp was effing brilliant and it enhanced Ricky's strengths and his reputation. But Ricky's Latin-themed sp from 2010 -2011 was just so-so and he didn't skate that sp as consistently as he did his fp. Ross also had a Latin-themed sp in 2010 - 2011, which he always skated with panache and humor (although some critics seemed to disregard Ross for being "a lightweight" and "not having enough difficulty.") I've always enjoyed Ross' skating so I think most of those types of criticisms are groundless. Sure Ross needs to work on his presentation skills, but he ain't too bad in that aspect either (Ross' Tom Dickson programs this season are awesome). Richard has good programs this season too (I love his sp!), but he is apparently trying to rebuild his confidence, and along with other U.S. men, find consistency on quads.
I doubt the World team will be Miner and Dornbush, since there are only two spots. I don't care how many problems Jeremy has encountered this season and in the past, he is the reigning U.S. National Champion for a reason. On his best day, Jeremy Abbott should blow away Kozuka, Fernandez, Amodio, Brezina, Machida, Mura, et al, with his great technique and superlative artistry, and he would certainly challenge Chan, Dai, and the precociously talented but immature Hanyu.
Re quads: Jeremy landed a gorgeous quad at 2012 Nationals, so he is capable of landing them. I'm not sure why he changed the entrance on his quad this season after he was finally successful last season with a different entry.
To each their own viewpoints. But IMHO Samuel Contesti and Kevin van der Perren are in no way comparable to Jeremy Abbott in terms of skating skills, artistry and all-around talent level. Kevin is a great jumper and he seems to be a very sweet and attractive person who has a deep love for skating. Contesti was generally entertaining on the ice and was often able to maintain a level of technical consistency, but his scores never netted him major podium placements because his overall skating is average. Kevin and Samuel were the best in their respective countries and could go to Worlds every year, barring injury, since they had little to no competition domestically.
Jeremy Abbott is 27 (he'll be 28 next June), and he is still in good shape (despite this season's back problems), and he is at his peak artistically. I don't see where you get the idea that Jeremy is "a shadow of his former self." Yes, Jeremy lacks consistency under competition pressure (and this season under physical-related pressures), but what he has achieved as an artist on the ice ultimately can not be measured in podium placements and CoP scores.
As they have in the past, USFS will probably base their World team selections on who goes 1, 2 in January. Going into Nationals, Jeremy is the defending U.S. Champion, and the highest placing U.S. man at 2012 Worlds (and he has previously placed as high as 5th at Worlds), plus his PCS scores are highly competitive and if he hits his programs he will challenge the top men internationally. Lots of variables are involved re Jeremy achieving at least another top five position at Worlds, but there would be even more variables with probably lesser overall payoff if the proven veteran and the best male skater in the U.S., Jeremy Abbott, does not make the World team.
Armin M's name is and has been generally mentioned by posters, but there hasn't been a huge amount of discussion about him in particular, likely due to the fact he wasn't at his best at his only GP this season, Skate America. So, perhaps as you said, "his injuries this fall have taken a toll on his skating," and I would add on his confidence as well. Training the quad is not easy, especially if you are injured and if you are limited in the number of early season int'l comp opportunities to get your programs out there. So many U.S. guys have talent, but they are hampered by the competitive depth in the U.S., which makes it hard to gain exposure much less make a mark internationally. Talent, hard work, being in favor politically, staying injury-free, good coaching environment, various other intangibles, as well as a boat-load of luck are all necessary ingredients (as well success breeding success).
Under IJS/ CoP, it's fairly unpredictable as to what judges will do in terms of scoring across competitions, let alone across seasons.
Well, you're right about Jeremy, it just seems unfortunate to the other guys that Jeremy could feasibly have lots of problems at Nationals, be sent over other guys skating better based on reputation scoring, be sent to Worlds, and then tank there. If he skates really well at Nationals I have no issue with him being sent, as obviously all you mentioned is true, but if it's an Alissa like situation comparable to the ladies event last season, I hope he does not get held up and someone more deserving (and consistent) misses out on a Worlds berth because of it. As for Jeremy being at his artistic peak, I'm not sure about that, he certainly isn't way past it, but I think artistically, and probably technically too, his peak was more 2009-2011 roughly. But maybe that's just me. Also, Jeremy is definitely hands-down, head and shoulders better than Contesti and KVDP ever were, but that doesn't mean his position now isn't similar to that of those two the past few seasons. Skating is tough on the body...
^^ Sure skating is def tough on the body.
Well, they didn't do Jeremy any favors at 2011 Nationals, when they clearly could have. He had performed very well on the GP that season, but they gave him no favors for his mis-steps in his Nationals fp. If anything, Ryan B was favored to win, and he did despite several jump-landing problems in his fp. I'm glad for Ryan that he won, but I do think Jeremy should have edged Ryan in the sp. Jeremy missed making the World team by .19 in 2011, and I don't think it was very wise that they left Jeremy off the team that year.
In any case, USFS is probably not going to "hold up" any one of the guys this January. I just hope they are going to be fairly objective and realistic going in, but this is figure skating. I think in many ways Jeremy is considered the favorite as the defending National champion (and he's clearly a skater who can obtain high PCS scores to match his technical abilities -- he just needs to be in shape mentally and physically to land his jumps under pressure), and if he wins Nationals, he absolutely must also be fully prepared to challenge at Worlds. IMO, Jeremy's peak artistically is now and forever.
Ross has certainly raised his stock with his second consecutive NHK Trophy bronze (particularly in a deep field this year), and especially with successfully landing his quad in the fp. I hope Ross' success at NHK will fuel him to a great showing at Nationals. Of course, Dornbush, Farris, Rippon, Messing, Aaron, Mahbahnoozadeh, Razzano, Carriere and others will also be in the mix. If Johnny is healed in time and feeling more fit, he might also do well, but at this point I doubt he would make the team.
Sarah and Drew's latest Inside Edge blog for IceNetwork is a Sectional champions roundup - here's an excerpt:
There are also quotes from Keegan Messing, Stephen Carriere, and the 2012 U.S. junior silver medalist Tim Dolensky (he skated with a stress fracture in his left ankle at Easterns and did not qualify for Nationals).
Hanyu doesn't do a quad combo, but he said in one of his interviews that the entrance to his 3-3 is so 'dangerous' that he'd rather do another quad. I guess it really depends on the skater.
About footwork into the solo quad, I guess doing it or not doesn't matter much, considering that those who don't do it don't get dinged for it even if it should be a requirement (see Kozuka at SA for example).
A Miner + Dornbush world team would also work, but IMO Dornbush really hasn't skated / placed solidly at the bigger comps since 2011 Nationals to warrant more support. If I were the US Fed I would be nervous to back him up again after last year's 4CCs fiasco, unless he really brought it at Nationals. On the flip side, despite bombing last Nationals, Farris actually skated / placed very well in each of his outings this season and past.
All 3 have reliable 3axels (which unfortauntely can't be said for Abbott), so I guess it comes down to who has the most reliable quad. I also feel nervous for Dornbush for completely botching his 3/3 combo at his GP this season AFTER landing the quad and 3axel.
Dornbush may need to work on his posture. I think his jump suffers from the posture. It's very hard for him to check the landing when his head is so far forward before the take off. Until then, his jumps will probably be about 50/50 success rate.
^^ ITA, but also more importantly Ross is more consistent than Richard and Jeremy, but Jeremy has more artistry, experience, and a higher profile than Ross and Richard. Joshua is a proven up-and-comer with a quad and 3-axel in his arsenal, but he has no experience on the senior circuit so he has less experience and profile than Ross, Richard and Jeremy. So, it remains to be seen who will perform to their best, and we'll see. On paper, I'm thinking Ross and Jeremy for the World team.
Unfortunately, anyone who goes to Worlds for the first time will be unlikely to get the marks they deserve no matter how well they perform (and it isn't easy to perform well under pressure your first time at Worlds). Johnny, Ross, and Richard did perform well in their Worlds debuts but were not given the marks. An exception: Evan didn't perform all that well in 2005 but was given the marks and the bronze, so go figure!
I hope all the skaters in all disciplines have great skates at Nationals, and Worlds too!
I disagree that Jeremy's 3-axel is not reliable. He has good technique on it -- when he misses which is not often, it must be due to nerves or lack of focus, or the yips. So, it's not like he has technical problems with his 3-axel, in the way that Adam does.
Max Aaron has a consistent 3a and quad (and a 4s which is worth more at that), which is why I think he's a contender. Ross and Joshua have consistent 3a and have both shown they are capable of landing a clean rotated quad with +GOE at an international competition, but each has only done that once, and haven't been attempting quads for that long anyways. Jeremy's 3a isn't quite as consistent as these two and his quad rate isn't great either, but he has the highest PCS of the bunch which helps boost his status. As for Dornbush, he actually has a decent success rate with the 4t, but considering his 3a is not super consistent (it used to be, but after last season appears to still be hit and miss) AND he's prone to botching his SP combo, his consistency with the quad (compared to the others) gives him less of an edge than it might appear on paper. So really, it's a gamble any way you slice it, and even more so when you move on to include other skaters not in this group. 3 spots in this deep of a field is going to be hard to garner is just sort of the reality. If Evan was back and in his 2010 form, or Jeremy was consistent, I'd feel better, but alas..
^^ Yes, ITA in general. Only thing is that Max has yet to be consistent at senior Nationals with his jumps, which are his strongest weapons. And the other thing is that in general skaters who appear at Worlds for the first time in front of senior International judges do not tend to be given the marks they deserve when they skate clean. For those who do score well as first timers and medal, a la Gachinski and Lysacek, it is probably a combination of genuine talent, and huge doses of politics and luck.
Thanks for pointing that out. I never noticed that it might be a burden. Is it worse for the quad? Sure his posture is weird, but his triples are generally extremely solid. I have always thought his issue with the quad is due to the genuine difficulty of the quad itself instead of a technical issue.
I absolutely think Miner is THE first choice for Worlds, very much like Flatt in 2009. Not a medal contender yet, but gets enough of the job done that he can secure the second spot and help make a run for the third.
I would love to be proven wrong, but I have a feeling this is another year where Abbott would be left in the dust at Nationals. His issue with the 3axel might not be technical, but he is just too inconsistent with it, and he inclines to pop all the time which is deadly. And this season even his easier triples are not always there. Abbott is a great skater, but he hasn't gone to that stage where he gets huge scores despite multiple errors. I am not that convinced that a mediocre skate from him can still score more than a solid skate from a Miner, Dornbush or Farris.
Internationally, Abbott (justifiably IMO) still commands PCS for mediocre skates that other US skaters aren't reaching, even with solid skates. I don't think that will change at worlds.
However, as we saw in 2011, the US judges have no problem throwing out unrealistic PCS for skaters who stand up on a few more jumps, so I wouldn't be surprised if he's off the world team again this year either. I'm figuring it will be Miner and Dornbush.
Abbott's usually good for at least one or two truly great performances a season, so hopefully Nationals and then Worlds is it.
Abbott usually scores low 8s while Miner scores mid 7s. That's about 5 points in total PCS difference in the free skate. Between popping jumps and losing spin levels, Abbott's PCS advantage is quickly lost.
It's no good for him to have only one truly great performance per season. In 2009 it was GPF and he was subpar at Nationals and Worlds. In 2010 it was Nationals and he was subpar at Olympics and Worlds. In 2011 it was 4CCs and it meant he didn't make the world team. In 2012 it was Nationals again and he was again subpar at Worlds.
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