Consistently Silver – Yuzuru Hanyu at Skate Canada 2016

My apologies to everyone who normally reads this blog. More than anything I wish I had stayed on top of it better as the season began. But I recently started coaching skating again, all while trying to work full time during the day. It’s busy busy. Perhaps too busy! Amidst all that, I was able to watch almost all of Skate Canada – did you really have any doubts, Yuzu was there!! That being said, I also watched the Autumn Classic and Skate America, just didn’t have time to say much about those. Sorry.

First things first, we’ve now officially seen Yuzu’s new programs – twice! And, I have mixed thoughts. In my last post he had just announced his music and I was pretty ecstatic. But we have now seen them both. I love his FS, love love love. It’s beautiful. The music is beautiful. The skating is beautiful. This exact program is my favourite Yuzu. And then there’s the SP. I was excited to see upbeat Yuzu again. It had been awhile, and Prince sounded like a lot of fun. Yes this program is a lot of fun and I think Yuzu has a lot of fun skating it. But I just don’t know how I feel. It’s almost like he’s trying too hard or it’s too cheesy or something. Watching it this past weekend I think this program is officially my least favourite of his programs in quite a few years. There are some great moments but there are also some almost cringe-worthy ones. Right now something’s just not working for me. Plus there’s the white pants. Yuzu, I think there needs to be a couple tweaks as the season progresses.

 

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Now on to Skate Canada itself and that hot mess of a SP – yikes! Those first two jumps were pretty much as bad as they can be. I applaud him for not giving up on the later elements though. I applaud him for committing to the program even though there were mega mistakes. Those are all really good things to see…..but there were so many missed points here! He definitely lost it with the SP. Yuzu was not impressed, seeing him in the Kiss n’Cry and backstage afterwards he was not happy – and rightly so! But, that all being said, this was still a better SP than he did at Skate Canada last year.

 

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The FS was such an improvement! 2/4 quads is not so bad. 4 quads is a lot! Plus he kept up his stamina and didn’t let any of his landings get away from him. Definitely better than the Autumn Classic. It’s probably the best he’s ever started a season. I’m very happy he got the 4T, considering I’m not sure how much he’s worked on it in the past few months. And then there’s that 4Lz. That jump and the 4L are going to give me the most stress this season. But he landed it cleanly and perfectly here! It appears he figured out how to deal with skating early after the warmup and pacing himself. Let’s hope this continues. I cannot wait to see how this program improves throughout the season.

 

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Yuzu mentioned in one article that the 4L hasn’t been as consistent since the Autumn Classic. That’s unfortunate to hear, after he landed two with such ease in Montreal. I hope his failure to land/rotate it here doesn’t frustrate him too much. I don’t want him to base all his success on that one jump.

Last year I was rather upset that Yuzu didn’t win overall, especially as I was there live. This year I’m totally ok with the result. Yuzu definitely had the better FS and he won that segment, whereas Patrick had the better SP and he won that segment. It’s Yuzu’s disastrous SP that did him in. Really, he only needed to rotate one of the missed quads and the title would have been his. But this is just how it goes, how many times has Yuzu finished 2nd to Patrick at Skate Canada now? This would be the 3rd time. Yuzu has always grown and peaked as the season progresses. Usually we see that peak in December but here’s hoping we’ll finally see these programs clean in Finland.

 

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I have two little concerns on the judging, and that’s not even getting into CHANflation (which seriously, we’ve been talking about this for years people, perhaps he just deserves those marks and things aren’t going to change). Yuzu got relatively low GOE on his two 3A combos. I don’t know about you but those have mega difficult entry, arms above the head, perfect speed and flow in and out and are the 6th and 7th jumps in the program! Seriously, give those a +3, or at least a +2 to those judges who gave him only +1 or even a 0. Yuzu fought till the end of that FS, I think those combos were pretty much as good as they’re gonna get.

 

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I don’t want to talk too much about the PCS difference between Yuzu and Patrick. The scores here were on the lower end, Shoma was scoring just as high the week before and I think he should definitely be lower than Yuzu and Patrick on a normal day. I am ok with Patrick winning PCS, I just think Yuzu was a little low-balled, he should have been a few points higher. Brian addressed this in one of his interviews, mentioned he knows what they need to work on moving forward to raise that number up to where it belongs. Here’s hoping we see that score rise throughout the season as well.

I haven’t even mentioned his Exhibition program yet. I love it! This is exactly the Yuzu I love, but more. The delicate ballet style was gorgeous. The twizzle. The single axel. Just everything. I can’t wait to see this program more. Also, any chance this could become a SP?? Mostly kidding. I’d rather this program not be damaged by too many jumps.

 

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And of course, Evgenia being Yuzu’s biggest fangirl was everything this weekend.

 

Thanks for reading! I will try my hardest to stay on top of this. I love every one of you who reads this too much to just stop. Thanks for inspiring me to continue!

Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Do you think Yuzu should have left with the Skate Canada title?

Till next time
– Justine Alyssa

4 Responses

  1. Christianne

    Who expected Yuzu to win at Skate Canada? *crickets*
    It’s just his second comp and there will always be kinks in his programs.
    Let’s be honest, though, PChiddy will always win, because. Canada. Sorry.

    I sort of lost any trust in Canada when they shafted Nam.

    • Justine Alyssa

      Thanks for the comment! I foolishly thought he could win this time. But I should have known. I’ve also lost a little faith in Canada with Nam and everything regarding Patrick. And I’m Canadian!

  2. Yuzuru was definitely lowballed on TES at FS. It’s frustrating but well… NHK will be next so looking forward to it. Thanks for this! 🙂

  3. Yuzuru has won NHK Trophy last weekend, with 301+ points Total, 103+ in SP and 197+ in FP. Nathan Chen is second, Keiji Tanaka third.
    Next week will be GPF in Marseille, France. In men, there are Patrick Chan, Fernandez, Yuzuru, Shoma, Nathan Chen and Adam Ripon.
    Will you write a report after GPF?
    Thank you.

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