Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Grand Prix Final: Men's Preview

I promised myself that I would make my predictions for this Grand Prix Final based on scores alone, but even though Takahashi's NHK score is higher than Chan's best this season, I can't help but believe Takahashi's was inflated and that Chan has yet to perform anywhere close to his best this season. The men skate their short Friday December 9th at 9:15 p.m. and their free Saturday December 10th at 4:55 p.m.

Of all the men competing in the Final, I like Javier Fernandez the best. I think he stretched himself more in the off-season than anybody and nobody else has impressed me yet. I think Chan takes the easy way out by only doing one new program each year. Takahashi & Abbott have both upped their performance level, but each still struggles to land the quad. Hanyu may be the most talented of the lot in his combination of athleticism and artistry, but he still lacks the maturity to pace himself for an entire free skate. I've never enjoyed Brezina's skating and this season is no different. He is messy and can't compete under pressure.

Placement Predictions: 
1) Patrick Chan (CAN) Season's Highest GP Score 253.74
2) Daisuke Takahashi (JPN) Season's Highest GP Score 259.75
3) Javier Fernandez (ESP) Season's Highest GP Score 250.33
4) Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) Season's Highest GP Score 241.66
5) Jeremy Abbott (USA) Season's Highest GP Score 229.08
6) Michal Brezina (CZE) Season's Highest GP Score 226.35

Competitive History: 

Jeremy Abbott (USA)-3rd at 2011 Rostelecom Cup, 1st at 2011 Cup of China, 3rd at 2011 Four Continents, 3rd at 2010 Rostelecom Cup, 2nd at 2010 NHK Trophy, 4th at 2009 Grand Prix Final; PB: 237.72 at 2009 GPF (Cup of China, Rostelecom Cup)

 Michal Brezina (CZE)-4th at 2011 Rostelecom Cup, 2nd at 2011 Trophee Eric Bompard, 1st at 2011 Skate America, 2nd 2011 Nebelhorn Trophy, 4th 2011 Worlds, 8th 2011 Europeans, 1st 2011 Bavarian Open, 2nd 2010 Golden Spin of Zagreb, 7th 201 Nebelhorn Trophy; PB: 236.06 at 2010 Worlds (Skate America, Trophee Eric Bompard, Rostelecom Cup)

Patrick Chan (CAN)-1st at 2011 Trophee Eric Bompard, 1st at 2011 Skate Canada, 1st at 2011 Worlds, 1st at 2011 Grand Prix Final, 2nd at 2010 Rostelecom Cup, 1st at 2010 Skate Canada; PB 280.98 at 2011 Worlds (Skate Canada, Trophee Eric Bompard)

Javier Fernandez (ESP)-2nd at 2011 Rostelecom Cup, 2nd at 2011 Skate Canada, 4th 2011 Nebelhorn Trophy, 10th at 2011 Worlds, 9th at 2010 Rostelecom Cup, 5th at 2010 Skate Canada, 5th at 2010 Coup de Nice; 250.33 at 2011 Skate Canada (Skate Canada, Rostelecom Cup)

Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN)-1st at 2011 Rostelecom Cup, 4th at 2011 Cup of China, 1st 2011 Nebelhorn Trophy, 2nd 2011 Four Continents, 7th 2010 Rostelecom Cup, 4th 2010 NHK Trophy; 228.01 at 2011 Four Continents (Cup of China, Rostelecom Cup)

Daisuke Takahashi (JPN)-1st at 2011 NHK Trophy, 3rd at 2011 Skate Canada, 5th at 2011 Worlds, 1st at 2011 Four Continents, 4th at 2010 Grand Prix Final, 1st at 2010 Skate America, 1st at 2010 NHK Trophy; PB: 264.41 at 2008 Four Continents (Skate Canada, NHK Trophy)

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