Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Final Free

The men closed the competition today. While they were good, I wouldn't say it was as exciting as the Ladies.

Brandon Mroz wasn't able to back up his strong short with a solid free. After some jump mistakes he found himself in 8th place. The first two Canadian men to skate were fantastic. Jeremy Ten just took off (the speed he skates with!) in his program and went on a jumping spree! His teammate Vaughn Chipeur took Jeremey's energy and used it to turn in a near perfect skate of his own. His triple axel is one of the best ever. The crowd just wowed when he did it. These two finished 7th and 6th respectively. Jeremy Abbott was fifth. He doubled his opening quad and fell on a late triple lutz. He looked under the weather to me at this competition. Despite the mistakes, his program is still pulling good component scores and I think he still has to be considered a contender in L.A. Nobunari Oda was 4th. He fell on his opening quad and had some little jump issues here and there. He, like Ten, skates with tremendous speed and almost made it to the bronze medal. That medal went to his teammate Takahiko Kozuka. Takahiko also crashed and burned on his opening quad but managed a decent program after that point. Evan Lysacek, however, did not crash and burn on his opening quad...he nailed it. His only mistake came when he had to put a hand down on a triple axel, however, he hit his second in combination in the back half of the program. Like the short, it would seem the old Evan is back. He looked great in the free skate and seemed very confident. This is an Evan that can compete with the best and I hope he shows up in L.A. However, the day went to Patrick Chan. The only error he had came when he popped his second axel. That didn't stop him though...his footwork, spins, and transitions more than made up the difference and he easily won the free skate. He will be tough for anyone to beat if he skates this well in L.A.

One thing to note, the jump police were asleep on the job here. On the jumbo-tron when they showed the replays, some of those jumps the men were doing were clearly under rotated but they were given full credit. Wonder if they've backed off the nitpicking?

Tomorrow is the exhibition and then I fly back to the States so no posts tomorrow. I did make some great observations here that will be the topic of my next Op-Ed. Until then...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Exactly. Even looking on Ice network, I can tell some of the jumps were under rotated. They should have been downgraded (ie Evan's combo if I remembered correctly among others.) Throughout the whole week, high scores were given out left and right. Not sure why. I thought Patrick had more than one mistake. He popped one of his jumps and put his hand down on another one (if I remember correctly). Overall it was a shaky skate for him. For them to give him 80 on tech scores was just absurd. His component score should be 80 for sure. But his tech score should be 70 at best. 160 for his long seemed way out of line. Plushy did a perfect program at the Olympic and only got 167. Patrick's lp was definitely more than 7 points off Plushy's Olympic LP. The way they unfairly grade Patrick's skating, it seems like there is no stopping him winning the Worlds. I would be shocked if anyone comes close. This is a shame. Evan must be really pissed for getting a silver rather than a gold because frankly he had a better lp skate. I kinda thought Patrick would still win because he had such a huge lead after short. So even after that so so lp, his lp scores should be lower but not that much lower than Evan hence the win anyway. But I guess I was wrong. Both Abbot and Mroz were very underwhelming. I'm very disappointed in Mroz. Looked like he only brought his A game to the US championship. I went back and looked at his skates during the Grand Prix, they are just as inconsistent as his skate at 4CC. This doesn't bode well for his future. I know his skating is still quite young but when Michelle Kwan first burst onto the scene, she rarely fell. It was the artistic scores that held her down. Anyway, this is a rather disappointing 4CC men's lp. Too many falls. With the top 6, only Evan managed to have one minor mistake. This is lame. I hope everyone brings their A game to the Worlds. By the way, Evan though I keep on nick picking on Evan, I'm glad he's back. He looked much much better than at the Nationals. I hope he has a perfect skate at the Worlds. And I was right about the USFSA's strategy. They knew both Abbot and Evan would easily be in top 6 so they can take their chances with Mroz than send Weir to the Worlds. If US can only send 2, I doubt they would sent Mroz. More likely Abbot and Lysacek.