Rostelecom Dance Preview

Faiella and Scali started their season with a disappointing 3rd place finish at Cup of China after troubles with her skirt in both of their programs.  If they can get these issues sorted out, they should be able to pull off the gold medal here.  Bobrova and Soloviev won their first career Grand Prix medal at Cup of China and if they can repeat their scores here they should easily be able to land on the podium again.  Paul and Islam stole the show at Skate Canda with their captivating free dance and are already being called Virtue/Moir 2.0.  If this young Canadian team can bring up their short dance scores, they should be able to land on the podium as well.  Ilinykh/Katsalapov and Hoffman/Zavozin are also in the mix and could medal if they capitalize on errors made by other teams.  The Hubbells had a disastrous showing at their first Grand Prix and have one of the lowest scores at this competition.  They need a strong showing here to have a shot at the podium at U.S. Nationals.

My podium predictions are:
Gold: Faiella/Scali
Silver: Bobrova/Soloviev
Bronze: Paul/Islam

My USFSA Fantasy Team is:
A) Faiella/Scali
B) Paul/Islam
C) Hubbell/Hubbell

Alexandra Paul/Mitchell Islam, CAN: They are the reigning World Junior silver medalists.  They finished 4th and 5th at their two Junior Grand Prix assignments last year.  They finished 4th in their Grand Prix debut at Skate Canada earlier this season.

Lucie Mysliveckova/Matej Novak, CZE: They finished 16th at Worlds.  They finished 7th and 9th at their two Grand Prix assignments last season.  They finished 6th at NHK Trophy earlier this season.

Nora Hoffman, Maxim Zavozin, HUN: Hoffman and Zavozin placed 13th at the Olympics and 10th at the World and European Championships.  Zavozin used to compete for USA and won the World Junior title in 2005.  They finished 4th in their Grand Prix debut at Cup of China.

Frederica Faiella/Massimo Scali, ITA: Faiella and Scali placed 5th at the Olympics and won bronze at the World Championships and silver at Europeans.  They won silver at their lone Grand Prix, Cup of China, last season.  They won bronze at Cup of China earlier this season.

Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev, RUS: They placed 15th at the Olympics, 8th at Worlds and 9th at Europeans.  They are the 2007 World Junior Champions.  They placed 4th at both of their Grand Prix assignments last season.  They won silver at Cup of China earlier this season.

Kristina Gorshkova/Vitali Butikov, RUS: They are the 2008 World Junior bronze medalists.  They finished 7th at both their Grand Prix assignments last season.  They finished 6th at Skate Canada earlier this season.

Elena Ilinykh/Nikita Katsalapov, RUS: They are the reigning World Junior champions.  They won both of the Junior Grand Prix assignments last season to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final where they won the silver medal.  They placed 4th at their Grand Prix debut at NHK Trophy.

Madison Hubbell/Keifer Hubbell, USA: They won bronze at Four Continents.  They finished 8th and 6th at their two Grand Prix assignments last season.  They finished 6th at Cup of China earlier this season.