Wow good question!
The first thing I guess you have to do is evaluate the possibility even if Evan and Emily were competing. They finished 9th at Worlds in Turin and two of the teams they finished behind aren't competing this season so you have to think it would happen easy.
But when you take Emily and Evan out of the equation it becomes tricky.
The next question is, besides Davis and White, who gets the the other two spots in Tokyo? I think it's between three teams: Chock and Zuerlein, Shibutani and Shibutani, and Hubbell and Hubbell.
Barring disaster, none of those three teams I feel can get past Virtue/Moir, Davis/White, Pechalat/Bourzat, Kerr/Kerr, Crone/Poirier, Bobrova/Soloviev, Hoffman/Zavozin, or Cappellini/Lanotte at this point in their careers. That's 8 teams so the highest finish one might expect from a second U.S. Ice Dance Team at Worlds is 9th.
The other piece of this equation is Davis and White. You have to, at this point, assume they will finish 1st or 2nd at Worlds. Let's say 2nd as Virtue and Moir will be in the mix. That mean's for the U.S. to keep three spots, another U.S. team must finish no lower than 11th in Tokyo (12th if Davis and White were to win).
That gives that second U.S. team about a three spot wiggle room to slip in there. Other teams in the 'wiggle' area include: Carron and Jones of France, Mysliveckova and Novak of Czech Republic, and Reed and Reed of Japan. Those three teams are very evenly matched with the three American teams I mentioned.
It will be important to keep an eye on the Grand Prix this season to see how those other American teams compete against the 'wiggle room' teams. Carron and Jones will compete with Chock and Zuerlein at Skate Canada and Trophee Lalique. Mysliveckova and Novak will take on the Shibutani's at NHK Trophy and the Hubbell's at Cup of Russia. The Reed's will also face off against the Shibutani's at both NHK Trophy (that competition will tell us a lot!) and Skate America.
My gut tells me that U.S. Ice Dancing is strong enough to keep it's three spots but it wont be the walk its been the past couple seasons...we're going to have to work for it this time.
Saturday, October 02, 2010
Now that Samuelson and Bates are out for the season, do you think the U.S. can get three spots for next Worlds?
Wow good question!