I really do like Patrick Chan, even if he seems to be getting himself into predicaments in the press on a somewhat normal basis come competition time. The latest gem is that he questioned why someone like World Champion Daisuke Takahashi (who is now somehow known particularly for his ability to do a quad more than anything else) would not include the jump in his short program. Let's flash back to the days when Chan didn't have a quad in his arsenal. Wasn't he preaching about how it shouldn't be that important?
Now, here's the big tragedy. A fall on the quad toe loop. A fall on the triple Axel. A big fall in the middle of his straight-line step that really disrupted the program. Yep, that's how Patrick's night went in the short program at Skate Canada-- three big missed elements of the seven total in the segment. Still, he managed to pull off fourth-best elements score, and the top overall components scores of the night.
Nobunari Oda of Japan leads the way with 81.37 points. While all three of his jump elements were executed beautifully, he lacked the transitions, performance quality, and interpretation of the music. He scored 38.00 points in components-- second to Chan on all of the five categories aside from Performance/Execution, where he bested the Canadian by a whole .07.
Second is another Canadian, Kevin Reynolds, with 80.09 points.. He successfully landed a quadruple Salchow/triple toe loop combination and a quadruple toe loop out of steps-- the first man to include two quads in the short program. While he's made drastic improvements to his skating in the last two seasons, his components score (34.06) reflected that he is still just a little bit off of the top skaters when it comes to the skating skills and overall presentation and content of the program.
Third place is the real travesty of the scoring, in my opinion. American Adam Rippon delivered a solid performance with the same jumping content as Oda, including both hands extended in the air on his triple Lutz jump. While he still has room to improve in his posture and speed, Adam packed the program with plenty of in-betweens and sold it well, only to finish three points below Chan in the components. This isn't the 80th ranked skater in the World who will never make the World Championships vs. the current World silver medalist-- Adam was 6th at last years Worlds. I do question whether he possibly received a lower level on one of the spins, but that still doesn't explain the components. The particular laughable one is the 7.61 for Chan in Performance/Execution vs. Rippon's 7.50.
If you take all of Chan's mistakes into account, the judges seem to have been willing to give him a score of approximately 8 more points just on the technical mark (and that's assuming he received full credit for the two jumps he fell on, AND assuming that he only would have received 0 GOE's from the judges if he landed them clean). He would also gain 3 points back that he was deducted for the three falls. The performance/execution and interpretation marks would have also most likely gone up greatly, and the three other components probably would have been higher. So what would he have scored? Probably around 87 or 88 points. Yes, he was attempting a quad toe loop. Was he 10 points better than a relatively clean Rippon? Absolutely not. Not to drag scores across competitions, but was he just ever so slightly worse than Jeremy Abbott was last week in NHK, even if Abbott received no credit on a spin? Though I don't particularly care for Jeremy's short program, does that seem right to you? Does it seem right that World Champion Takahashi would be 10 or so points behind Chan if his only mistake in the short program was a hand down on the triple Axel (based on NHK)? No, I didn't think so.