IMO Hubbel & Donahue bump the Shibutanis off for the 3rd spot. I see the Shibutanis continuing a gradual decline until they retire TBH. Chock & Bates are a lock for the 2nd spot (or at worst the 3rd spot if the Shibs somehow make a big comeback and beat them for 2nd), so that leaves only 1 spot for several teams to fight for.
So much dance talent in America. Who would have thought this ten years ago? Dave Lease from The Skating Lesson tweeted last night that its a shame the US can't trade away a spot in another discipline to bring another dance team and I agree.
I enjoyed Hubbell/Donohue over both C/B and S/S at Nationals. I think C/B's spot is solidified with a solid Worlds debut and Igor in their corner. It depends if the judges are really done with the Shibs or if they feel safer sending World medalists. Since a second medal is extremely unlikely, I could see them going with H&D. I don't think it will happen for Lynn & Logan. A&E will likely be waiting for 2018.
I would like it to go to H&D but with Lynn & Logan moving to Igor, they have a good chance. Shibs are dead unless they leave Marina.
agreed, the Shibs are no way a lock for the 3rd spot
Kriengkrairut/Giulietti-Schmitt are boring. I certainly hope they dont get the 3rd spot over Hubbel & Donahue or the Shibutanis. I do hope H&D get it since I like them alot. I feel bad for the Shibutanis even though I dont like their skating much, in part since it feels like karma and the skating World are making them pay for their IMO completely undeserved medal at the 2011 Worlds, when it was not their fault but the judges fault (the same judges who are increasingly stingy towards them now) and they seem like sweet people and yet are suffering in part from some undeserved 2011 results (their grand prix win that year over W&P too which was also totally wrong) which the judges and not them are at fault for. I wonder if all 6 of these teams will be around to try for 2018 too. They are all young enough, but none breaking up at some point before then even if none retire would be a miracle.
I think the 2014 top 6 US placements at nationals will look exactly the same. H/D lacked some of the intensity they had last season and I get a little concerned that there are so many teams training with Pasquale in Detroit. Shibs need something, but I just don't know what. Many people have hinted that a return to Igor is not likely and unless there is some movement at DSC, then Detroit is still going to be crowded. Maybe a crazy move to Canadian coaches would work, can't think of anyone else inside the US. K/G-S moving to Igor in Novi was a shock to me. Even with that, I see them maintaining 5th place in 2014. A/E will be 2018 contenders. I think it will be difficult to crack the top 6 at US seniors this year. Cannuscio/McManus (6th place team) weren't mentioned, but based on the commentary I heard during nationals, they seem to be a team on the rise. Question is, was this their peak and now they'll be passed by junior teams moving up or can they challenge any of the 5 teams ahead of them? US dance is not dull that's for sure.
D/W, C/B - barring injury IMO a lock. For third I went out on a limb a bit and voted Lynn and Logan. Their skating improved tremendously when they moved to their old coaches, and I am looking for them to make another leap forward with Igor. I just wish they hadnt waited this long to do it, and hope it isnt too late for them.