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Rostelecom Cup Taught Us...

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-That Rachael Flatt is not ready for prime time and the judges are not cutting her any slack. She looks out of shape and sloppy out there. She didn't fall in her short program and landed all of her jumps and still landed in eighth place. Maybe she should have skipped the Grand Prix.

-That Alena Leonova is a real medal threat this season. She's got a consistent triple/triple, which is rare these days. She has so much confidence in that short program and she is more tasteful than usual in her free skate. I think her rise definitely depends on the mistakes of others, but she has been medaling despite falling here and there which is a good sign for her chances.

-That Mao Asada is maybe confused as to what her strategy should be. She didn't do triple axels here but will she need them at the Grand Prix Final? How will she measure up to a clean Carolina Kostner, Elizaveta Tuktamisheva, or Alissa Czisny?

-What is going to happen with U.S. ladies skaters who were up and coming but have not been able to up and..come, like Agnes Zawadzki and Christina Gao? It's been a very disappointing Grand Prix season for them and Flatt.

-that Jeremy Abbott can do a terrible free skate but still have the prettiest program out there. You guys, if he skates this program clean it will kill. I agree with those who think it's better than Chan's. I mean, obviously.

-that it was nice to see Yuzuru Hanyu to just skate in there for the win but this wasn't a competition to write home about. But it did solidify Javier Fernandez and Hanyu as real deal threats as they beat out Abbott and Brezina, so that was interesting. (Although Abbott and Brezina gave it away). And what of worlds darling Artur Gachinski? Too many jump troubles to keep at the top. He needs to become consistent to have a medal prayer.

-that a clean Savchenko and Szolkowy will trump a clean Kavaguti and Smirnov. How awesome were those short programs? The free skates both had troubles but Savchenko and Szolkowy were very strong, proving their recent Grand Prix bronze was not going to become a habit.

-that Davis and White are skating the best ice dancing programs of the year. Sorry, I've said it before and I'll say it again. I truly believe they are the best right now. Maybe Virtue and Moir will change my mind, but Davis and White's free dance makes me want to call them by a nickname. And I hate nicknames. So that's a testament to how wonderful it is.