Pairs Discussion Thread 2019-20: “Two skating as one”

aftershocks

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T/M lost a bit of confidence last season, partly due to having won over a clean J/C at 2017 TDF, when they shouldn't have with mistakes and horrid Candyman. Last season James/Cipres slammed dunked, except for dastardly Worlds bad luck. J/C earned and have always earned every point they get. Every accomplishment has been hard fought, hard won. The judges gave them nothing extra. It's not about judges' love for J/C, it's about the judges' recognition of just how good J/C are and have been consistently over the past three seasons.

Short enuf for ya there MFS... :drama:
 

aka_gerbil

Rooting for the Underdogs
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1,701
We really don’t know what the placements would have been if a totally clean T/M had competed against a totally clean J/C since that scenario happened zero times last season.
 

vanillashake

Banned Member
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270
T/M lost a bit of confidence last season, partly due to having won over a clean J/C at 2017 TDF, when they shouldn't have with mistakes and horrid Candyman. Last season James/Cipres slammed dunked, except for dastardly Worlds bad luck. J/C earned and have always earned every point they get. Every accomplishment has been hard fought, hard won. The judges gave them nothing extra. It's not about judges' love for J/C, it's about the judges' recognition of just how good J/C are and have been consistently over the past three seasons.

Short enuf for ya there MFS... :drama:
The point is the judges opinions of J/C last season went WAY up by a gigantic margin, and that should atleast be noted and not talked around.
 

vanillashake

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We really don’t know what the placements would have been if a totally clean T/M had competed against a totally clean J/C since that scenario happened zero times last season.
True, but J/C had higher PCS virtually everytime, and in every LP. T/M were nearly clean at Europeans got destroyed by J/C. And even taking away their 2 mistakes they still lose for sure. At the GPF they destroyed them in the LP to the point it is clear they come out ahead even had T/M gone clean, and PCS were a good 3-4 points higher IIRC. And at Worlds J/C with a major mistake in the LP still very nearly beat T/M who were clean in that phase from the 2nd last flight. It is clear who would win had both actually gone totally clean.
 

Mad for Skating

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I like both T/M and J/C, but I think they’re polar opposites as pairs. In PCS, I would give T/M the edge on skating skills, J/C the edge on transitions, choreography/composition, and interpretation, and performance/execution should be based on who skates cleanest. A clean T/M should beat J/C on the technical mark, because T/M have a far better twist and usually better flow out of the elements. For me, a clean T/M should still beat a clean J/C, although not by a large margin.

I will personally say that I find J/C’s programs generally more interesting. However, that does not mean they should win. I personally preferred Jason Brown’s program to Nathan Chen’s program last year, but to say a clean Jason should beat a clean Nathan is ridiculous.
 

vanillashake

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I like both T/M and J/C, but I think they’re polar opposites as pairs. In PCS, I would give T/M the edge on skating skills, J/C the edge on transitions, choreography/composition, and interpretation, and performance/execution should be based on who skates cleanest. A clean T/M should beat J/C on the technical mark, because T/M have a far better twist and usually better flow out of the elements. For me, a clean T/M should still beat a clean J/C, although not by a large margin.

I will personally say that I find J/C’s programs generally more interesting. However, that does not mean they should win. I personally preferred Jason Brown’s program to Nathan Chen’s program last year, but to say a clean Jason should beat a clean Nathan is ridiculous.
I am not sure who should win if they are both clean. I can see arguments both ways and I agree with your points. However from last season it is clear a clean J/C will probably easily beat a clean T/M. The only question is who would win between a clean J/C and a clean Sui & Han.
 

Mad for Skating

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I am not sure who should win if they are both clean. I can see arguments both ways and I agree with your points. However from last season it is clear a clean J/C will probably easily beat a clean T/M. The only question is who would win between a clean J/C and a clean Sui & Han.
I think T/M are talented enough to beat J/C and S/H if they could tap into their artistic side. I’m really hoping their work with Marina helps things along, because it would be a shame if such a naturally talented pair never reached the top because of bad packaging.

However, at the moment I think Sui/Han are head and shoulders above everyone else.
 

Japanfan

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I think T/M are talented enough to beat J/C and S/H if they could tap into their artistic side.
Maybe. TBH I haven't seen that T/M have an artistic side. But I may have missed it, as I find I don't watch their programs to closely. They bore me.

However, at the moment I think Sui/Han are head and shoulders above everyone else.
And will remain that way through to 2022 providing that they remain injury-free. Sui has had so many injuries and her foot (or ankle) injury was particularly bad. But a person usually only has so much bad lack, and hopefully Sui is done with her share for a few years.
 

vanillashake

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Sui & Han are the team to beat but I don't think they are totally dominant or unbeatable to way Papadakis & Cizeron or Nathan Chen are by any stretch. They are too injury prone, and they have never dominated even in a full season they have been healthy. That would be a season like 2017-2018 where they were healthy all year and still lost both the GPF and Olympics to Savchenko & Massot, and based on S&M's WRs and 162 LP at worlds it is a foregone conclusion they would have lost there too even if they went and did 2 clean programs. Even at last years worlds they were clean in the short and were 2nd and are probably 3rd if James & Cipres had done well.

So team to beat sure but head and shoulders above the rest or unbeatable the way P&C or Chen are, not really IMO. They would still be the clear favorite for now though, and the early favorite for 2022.
 

Japanfan

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Sui & Han are the team to beat but I don't think they are totally dominant or unbeatable to way Papadakis & Cizeron or Nathan Chen are by any stretch. They are too injury prone, and they have never dominated even in a full season they have been healthy. That would be a season like 2017-2018 where they were healthy all year and still lost both the GPF and Olympics to Savchenko & Massot, and based on S&M's WRs and 162 LP at worlds it is a foregone conclusion they would have lost there too even if they went and did 2 clean programs. Even at last years worlds they were clean in the short and were 2nd and are probably 3rd if James & Cipres had done well.

So team to beat sure but head and shoulders above the rest or unbeatable the way P&C or Chen are, not really IMO. They would still be the clear favorite for now though,S& and the early favorite for 2022.
Injury aside, pairs teams and singles are not guaranteed or at least favored for dominance the way dance teams are, particularly over a period of years The reason is that falls happen for pairs and singles skaters, and can cost heavily in terms of points. Falls are rare for ice dancers (although extremely costly when they do happen). For that reason, dance marks are sometimes under a point apart. And for me, dance is less exciting that the other disciplines because it is so predictable. I enjoy it most when the team at the top is a team I root for (e.g. Virtue and Moir). But I actually skipped the dance event at the 2006 Olympics entirely, because none of the teams remotely interested me. I have never skipped a ladies', pairs', or men's event.

S&H need to keep their eye on the prize and not worry about any setbacks in the seasons leading up to the 2022 Olympics. Winning an Olympic Gold medal at home in their country's first winter Olympics would be such an honour and such an accomplishment. And they have shown that they can be warriors. And they used to say that 'Bin Yao really likes to win". I'm sure that Hongbo Zao, who trained under Bin, has a similar attitude.

Providing that S&H are healthy and in their best form, I expect the competition will mostly be for bronze and silver. I can't see either T/M, P/J, or the other two top Russian skaters (forget their names, actually) overtaking S/H in terms of becoming a more dominant pair than S/H.
 

vanillashake

Banned Member
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Do you think there is any chance Savchenko & Massot return? I would like to see them atleast get a European title on their resume.
 

rfisher

Let the skating begin
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Tar/Mor are in excellent shape and their SP program is excellent. They are ready now. Stolbova/Novosolev's program is great and is designed to showcase her. They still need some work, but barring injury.....
 

vanillashake

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I think a clean J/C would have won worlds last year even over a clean S/H, but that is because they had the momentum. Most times yes a clean S/H would win I think.
 

oleada

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I think a clean J/C would have won worlds last year even over a clean S/H, but that is because they had the momentum. Most times yes a clean S/H would win I think.
I don't think that's giving S/H enough credit. Their LP was truly spectacular; a world record and their short was also very good. Their scores at 2019 Worlds were higher than anything J/C have ever scored. Sure it would have been a lot closer but I think S/H would've come ahead in the end.
 

oleada

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I'm surprised about the No Worlds part. You'd think they'd want to go for the title again, since they didn't even medal last year.
 

oleada

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Exactly. Not going to Worlds doesn't really make sense to me.
Especially if they plan to keep going for the 2022 Olympics. I can't imagine this sets them up well for that. Did they learn nothing from Stolbova/Klimov?
 

rfisher

Let the skating begin
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I think they're done. They said they were taking it one season at a time since the Olympics. Both of them have other interests. I'll be surprised if they actually go to Euros.
 

Barbara Manatee

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Vanessa explains their reasoning on her instagram stories -
Morgan and I have officially decided that we are going to continue our careers until 2022!

Yes guys, we have decided we want to participate at the 2022 Olympics in Beijing!

After 9 years of consecutive seasons without missing a single season, competition, or occasion to better ourselves in competition

With the support of our coaches and federation we have decided to conserve out energy, motivation, minds and bodies by strategically and methodically adapting our season to best prepare ourselves to reach our ultimate goals!

We will be training, but will be focusing on perfecting and fine tuning certain elements and skating skills!

We still have a long way to go... and so much more to learn, master and experience if we want to attain our goals!
I don't know if its going to be a successful strategy but it is an understandable one. They need a break so they can give their all for the Olympics.
 

nylynnr

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It sounds to me as if James & Cipres wanted to take the entire season off, and as a compromise with their federation agreed to compete at Euros, since France has, I think, three pairs' entries and not too many candidates. Hamon & Strekalin moved to Florida this summer to train with Zimmerman's group, so they may be in contention for the single French pair slot at Worlds.
 

Japanfan

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I don't know if its going to be a successful strategy but it is an understandable one. They need a break so they can give their all for the Olympics.
I am doubtful that the strategy will work. Not competing could cause them to lose momentum. Some skaters can come back after being away for awhile, such as S/Z and V/M, both of whom won Olympic Gold after their return. But both teams were already highly decorated and had proven themselves as contenders for the top spot on the podium -S/Z were able to skate first in the SP field at the 2010 Olympics and hold that position to the end of the SP competition.

I don't think J/C have that sort of momentum. I think they were just building towards it last season. If last season was actually their peak, then they may have peaked at the wrong time, in the middle of the Olympic cycle.

Also, competing keeps a skater/team on the judges' radar. S/Z and V/M didn't need to do that, but IMO, J/C do.

I have long been a fan of J/C and would love to see them get an Olympic medal. Given that S/H are the favorites for gold at this point in time, the primary battle could be for gold and silver.
 
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NAOTMAA

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J/C may do a lot of interesting things but most of the time it looks messy or unfinished. S/H and T/M are far more clean in the positions they strike whether its in their lifts or other movements across the ice
 

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