I perceive Plush trying hard to smooth out the rough edges and make amends for past "transition-less" winning programs. Since Gachinski's bronze medal-winning luster has worn off during the GP season, it provides even more incentive for Plush's comeback. Although perhaps commendable in some respects, I do think it is a tad late for Plush to try and change his skating style (he is definitely another example of a skater whose growth has been stunted). IMO, Plush in his prime did not fully develop his artistic side but rested on his laurels as a jumper and on his rep with the judges. Perhaps it is Plush's love for the sport that fuels him, or hubris, or patriotism, or partly b/c it is hard for him to let go of what defined him and gave him so much in his life. Interesting to recall that in the early days of the sport, champions were often older and competed for many years (but the field of competitors was much smaller too, and the sport was in the early stages of evolving).
I'd rather see a Matt Savoie comeback than watch Plushy attempting to redeem his 2010 Olympic faux pas. Overall, though, I'd rather see the older veterans competing against each other on a pro circuit rather than pushing themselves to compete again in the eligible ranks.
I'm feeling a bit chilled by the specter of the "Chan Gang," Putin, and the Russian Mafia leading the cheering sections at Nice in the men's event.
I'm so, so happy for Plushy. In his late twenties, injured, and he STILL adds new stuff to his arsenal, and still with those amazing incredible jumps.
His quads were a little shaky, but I think given time he'll be right back into the swing of things. He even said he'd been planning a 4T-3T in the short program but after his mistake he knew he couldn't make the second jump. I think maybe the same thing happened in the long program.
I'm not sold on the long, I'm not sure about the music (I love the costume though - it's so typically him). But he does sell it hard. His charisma is unbelievable. And he certainly hit the beat of the music well. It needs some work, but whenever he skates, it will be awesome.
I LOVE the short program. The music is very...searching for a word...climactic, although that's not quite the feeling I'm looking for. And I really love that costume. Hooray! After so many years, we've finally got a different colour on Plushy! (It's not red, black, gold, or white/silver/grey!) And he really owned that short. It's very frontloaded, of course. But honestly I feel program layouts are suffering because of the footwork requirements. Plushy's footwork in the SP was only a level THREE and it felt like it took up half the program!
I felt the better skating was in the short program, but I don't see any reason why he couldn't be a real contender at Euros when they get there. If he gets everything sorted in time, he should canter off into the sunset with that. (Gachinsky might argue with him for it. That would be FUN!)
I think he should ditch the donut part of his camel combination and just go straight to the half-biellman. The half he can get away with with his loss of flexibility. The donut he cannot. It just looks bad. Sorry Plushy boy, you ain't 19 anymore.
Just for my own interest, here are some "new" elements I saw in his programs (that I hadn't seen before or don't recall seeing in his programs before - feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!).
- "broken leg" position on sit spin - did anyone else notice how fast he spun in this position?
- "crouch" sit spin (with the leg behind)
- running threes into butterfly
- flying sit spin
That's all I can think of right now. I'll have to watch the programs again.
Whatever you think of him, it takes mega balls and mega guts to come back at his age, with his injury history, against this competition. Good on him I say!
Just watched the FS, I applaud his working on the things he knew he had to. Personally I actually enjoyed the routine (I have't enjoyed Plush for years). There is still work to go but it was less frenetic than I'm used to seeing from him and the control and poise in all his non jump elements was so much improved. As for the jumps... majority were really well done, absolutely amazing for his age. Very well done. Congratulations to him.
Last edited by Ozzisk8tr; 12-27-2011 at 01:57 PM. Reason: Watched the FS
If I had a dollar for every time I got distracted, I wish I had some ice cream.
I do NOT enjoy him in any way, but I do take my hat off to him.
“Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” George Orwell
I always preferred others to Evgeni over the years, but I always respected this guy's ability to compete and mental fortitude. To do those jumps, after what he's gone through, and compete like he did with what you'd think would be rust, is impressive.
While I don't see a big change in his skating, I do appreciate those new elements he's added. And to do those big jumps... yeah, welcome back, Evgeni. The more the merrier.
The article that the first poster linked to says he plans to compete at Euros and then have surgery again. . . does he plan to do Worlds?
I admire his competitive fire but I earnestly hope he's still able to walk in 5 years.
Welcome back, Plushy! His participation in competitions can only make things more interesting. Loved his programs even if I am not blind to the rough edges, shaky landings etc. I can't agree with the criticism of his donut spin however, it's better than this one, for example
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8G3fo8Lzow and Dai is 4 yrs younger. Even if he's not perfectly in position, Plush doesn't drop his leg to catch the foot.
and I thought his costumes were really cool.
What difference does it make if a skater drops his leg in order to catch the free foot? It's the final sustained stretched position in the catch-foot that will count.
His legs are stiff almost all the time. He has good strokes and crossovers, that why he gains speed.
But he is still good for 7's, or 7.5's.
Anyway, I'm a hater. but I'm still impressed with his 3Axels.
For TR, I would give a score of 6.2. There wasn't much variety, the transitions (when there) were relatively east, and the intricacy was non existent.
For P/E, I would give a 6.5 because there was not much in terms of personal involvement. Being smug does not equate to emotion.
CH: 6.5 Not much there. Concept was lacking, vision was unclear, though the unity of the choreography was there (see above: smug).
IN: 6.5. I don't think he 'got' the music.
What happened to his 3-lutzes? Doubled the first one, stepped out on the second one. I hope his body is strong enough to keep up with his strong mind.
The piece is seventy-five minutes long...[l]ong enough for an idea to be developed, but not so long that one starts to measure the number of seats to the exits with desperation if the thing doesn’t work" -- Marina Harss