With the conclusion of Cup of Russia, I always like to crunch how things look for the Grand Final.
It would appear fairly set in stone in dance with the following ice dance teams having qualified:
Delobel and Schoenfelder, Domnina and Shabalin, Khokhlova and Novitski, and Davis and White.
Now Belbin and Agosto should qualify assuming Faiella and Scali win NHK (and they are the hands down favorites) but if Pechalat and Bourzat can upset the Italians (huge if...seems unlikely...but you never know when an unforseen fall can happen) than it becomes a tie breaker between Faiella and Scali and Belbin and Agosto, most points wins. I don't forsee this happening and my guess is that both Belbin and Agosto and Faiella and Scali will be in Korea.
In pairs, four teams have already qualified:
Savchenko and Szolkowy, Zhang and Zhang, Kawaguchi and Smirnov, and Volosozhar and Morozov.
Things don't look good for McLaughlin and Brubaker as they have gotten the bad end of a tie breaker. They would need for a really major shake-up at NHK to qualify for the final. That puts Mukhortova and Trankov on the bubble. If Dube and Davison win and Pang and Tong place second, Dube and Davison will qualify bumping McLauglin and Brubaker to seventh and pitting Pang and Tong against Mukhortova and Trankov for the final seat. If you reverse the standings, Keauna and Rockne are still bumped and Jessica and Bryce battle the Russian's. The only way Keauna and Rockne can make the final is if Inoue and Baldwin (or one of the lesser known teams) win, Pang and Tong win the silver, and Dube and Davison the bronze. Then, Keauna and Rockne have to hope that they have higher combined scores from their events than either the Canadians or the Chinese. It's hard to say who those final two teams will be in the final.
Amongst the women, only two ladies can definitively say they've made the final, Yu-Na Kim and Joannie Rochette. Four ladies, on paper have a shot at making the final who are competing at NHK:
Mao Asada, Yukari Nakano, Laura Lepisto, and Ashley Wagner.
While four are still in Limbo:
Kostner, Ando, Suguri, and Flatt.
Ashley Wagner would need a win, and Lepisto at least a silver. Asada and Nakano would just like to do better than a bronze or else they have to deal with tie breakers. My guess is that Asada and Nakano will make the final, joining, Kim, Rochette, Kostner and Ando...effectively bumping Suguri and Flatt. We'll just have to wait and see if that is how it all plays out.
Three men have effectively qualified for the final:
Chan, Kozuka, and Joubert gets in becuase he's on the high end of tie breaker.
Both Weir and Carriere are competing at NHK, both have won silver medals and only need to medal to make the final. That might be a little easier given the fact that Takahashi has withdrawn. Nobunari Oda will also be in the competition and that makes things a little interesting. He cannot make the final himself, but his placement can make or break it for some of the other guys. Abbott should make the final, barring a win from Yannick Ponsero, then he'd have to win a tie breaker. Kevin Reynolds and Adrian Schultheiss may also thicken the plot as far as the podium goes. The cool part is that three American men have a decent shot at making the final (almost as good as Operation Pummel the Podium which also included Bradley and Lysacek!). On the bubble is Verner and Preaubert...they need slight miracles to make the final, especially Preaubert. Poor Lysacek and his two bronzes didn't hold up...he lost the tie breaker to Preaubert (not exactly sure how that happened?). Maybe in the time between now and Nationals he can find a way to get those jumps all the way around.