The pairs competition at Skate America will feature 8 teams and the objective on the mind of 7 of those teams is beat the Germans!
Savchenko and Szolkowy are the overwhelming favorites. The reigning World Champions recently won the Nebelhorn Trophy and look to breeze past the competition in Everett.
If you look at how the teams were ranked behind the Germans at the 2008 World Championships, with all things being equal, the Canadian duo of Duhamel and Buntin (after a solid 6th place finish at Worlds)have the best shot at taking on the Germans. Next in line the Russians, Mukhortova and Trankov (7th at last years worlds). Not having a very good showing at last seasons World's (10th) was Inoue and Baldwin. But as we know, all things are never equal in figure skating. Messing up on side-by-side triples, landing a throw triple axel, or turning in an amazing short or long and everything could change!
And we can't forget one of the favorite teams didn't even compete at last season World's. Not because they didn't earn it, just so happened she was too young. The reigning U.S. National Champs, McLaughlin and Brubaker will also be attempting to carry out objective number one (remember...beat the Germans) and given their performance on the Grand Prix last season, perhaps they have the best shot at accomplishing the task.
When I put all of this into my prediction calculator, this is what I compute:
My Medal Call:
GOLD - Savchenko and Szolkowy
SILVER - McLaughlin and Brubaker
BRONZE - Mukhortova and Trankov