by George Rossano
(10 February 2018) At the end of the first day of the Team event, the standings for the top five countries are CAN, USA, JPN, OAR and ISR. Three teams are one point behind team Israel: CHN, ITA and GER. Team Israel did better than expected, and team OAR worse, with a second place finish in the Men's Short Program from Alexei Bychenko, and an eighth place finish from Mikhail Kolyada.
For the Ladies Short Program all the teams have selected their big guns, as have teams CAN, USA and OAR in the Short Dance. Team France did not select Papadakis & Cizeron for the short Dance, but sitting in last place with no chance of making the cut to the free programs, there is no reason for the French team to skate the team event, and they are better off preparing for the Ice Dance competition.
Team Italy will be using Carolina Kostner in the Ladies Short Program, and Cappollini & Lanotte in the Short Dance. This is probably the strongest lineup for the teams currently in fourth through eighth place. Our crystal ball says that team Italy will move up into the top five, to make the final free skates, with team Israel dropping out of the top five.
The crystal ball also predicts, the top five after all the shorts will be CAN, OAR, USA, JPN and ITA, in that order.
Copyright 2018 by George S. Rossano