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Manitoba Legend
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Registered: Jan 2009
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Posts: 10869

Earliest Olympic Trials Predictions EVER

But sensibly based on this year's festivities.

In the mens final - I have a hard time visualizing anything other than a Brad G. vs Brad J FINAL. Jacob's savage game vs. the intricate stylings of Mr. Gushue. Obviously, lots of folks will favour someone like Koe, McEwen or Carruthers getting to the final but frankly, neither McEwen nor Reid have the overall team power/intricacy/finesse to stay with Gushue or Jacobs when these two teams are on-form. Koe would be the logical pick to upend Jacobs and slither into the final but KK has been showing signs of minor deterioration this year - lots of events where he's not himself.

As far as the womens - pretty safe to announce Rachel Homan will be one of the finalists. The other finalist is quite up for grabs.
Schiedegger has shown signs of surging this year so she might be in line for a finalist spot. But the smart money, as usual will be on Sweeting or Jones to advance to the finals. Jones can no longer stand up to Rachel Homan as a professional skip but she's got the great combination of guts and key shot-making ability. But too many misses per game have crept up on the JJ crew - Kaitlyn will hang in there with Emma - but 42 yr old Jill Officer is now a hit 'n miser and can no longer stand up to Courtney. Leads are about equal.

Sweeting is an entirely different kettle o fish. Where Jones is stone-faced and super-serious most of the time, Val's team if full of jovial frivolity - and often seem like they've won the Olympic games when they make early end super-shots. Make no mistake - Val, when she's on can almost equal Rachel H. as a peer. Jones gets by on guile - and guile alone can win you certain games. Just not quite enough to advance thru to the final.

On a separate Olympic note I'm now picking Sweden's Anna Hasselborg to be the #1 threat to Homan (or whoever emerges from Canada. Anna now has a super team, fully capable of all the shots - only major problem is Anna has not quite evolved into the type of Killer that Jones, Homan, Coco Jones, Sandra Schmirler, Eliz. Gustafson, Annette Norberg, etc.

If she can use all her great arena experiences this year (albeit mostly losing in semi-finals or finals) and finally pick up the killer instinct she's on the verge of acquiring - she's capable of threatening anyone - including Homan for Gold

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Old Post 04-30-17 10:40PM
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Stoner
Drawmaster

Registered: Mar 2013
Location:
Posts: 618

Team Hasselborg is not fully evlved yet, they still can't draw as well as they should.

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Old Post 05-01-17 04:45AM
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Manitoba Legend
Supreme Champion!

Registered: Jan 2009
Location: Hovel of Fame
Posts: 10869

quote:
Originally posted by Stoner
Team Hasselborg is not fully evlved yet, they still can't draw as well as they should.


The entire team is a superior group of athletes. Sara Mac @ 3rd is really asserting herself as a dominant 3rd player. We all know Eve Muirhead missed the boat by letting her out of her mitts in Scotland.

But the real surprises have been Agnes at 2nd and Mabergs at lead. Agnes appears to be advancing on the top 2nds (Wilkes, Courtney, Officer, etc.) in Canada and she's already the top 2nd in Sweden and probably Europe.

Mobergs has turned into more than a pin-up queen - the smallest of the Swedish big girls but no question one of the most powerful brushers in the game (after Queen Courtney)

If Hasselborg can somehow transition into being more of a killer and stop being just a good nice-girl curler - WATCH OUT.

Other big question for 2018 is where Sara Wilkes slots in. Will Homan pick the athletic and fairly young Sara up as team 5th?
One thing I noticed about Sara - she's almost as tall as Emma, yet doesn't quite have the flexibility in her delivery that all the Homan players have. That's part training, part conditioning. Look how the Homan camp developed Courtney into a blockbuster 2nd, re-shaping her delivery and certain technical issues like release and rotation.

I know Sara Wilkes would benefit from that kind of exceptional training - training the Homan team has earned by being champions and big cash winners.

If she can't slot in with Homan - will she park her services with Shannon Kliebrink for another season? Does Kliebrink even have the health required to go thru another gruelling season at her advanced age?

With Rocque back from the universiade games perhaps Wilkes will re-join and fortify her former munchkin friend Crocker.

Rocque's expected climb to the top of women's curling has sort of plateaued -- - part of it is Laura Crocker doesn't appear to be anything more than a slightly above average 3rd. Many times she's below average and that has to hurt Rocque, facing hi degree of difficulty shots. Wilkes might be a better bet to play 3rd w/ Crocker stepping down to front end duties.
As far as Wilkes going nomad - and running to another province, the only places I can visualize for her is Ontario - perhaps for Tracey Fleury - Fleury needs to improve her team to be able to torment the top squads next year. Wilkes might be the answer on the front end - but they'd have to cut a friend (or sister) to do that.

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Old Post 05-01-17 09:51AM
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curlerbroad
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Registered: Feb 2004
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If you want to go to the Olympics, then you don't have friends only very good teammates!

Your predictions are pretty good. Muirhead really needs to get her team curling better. The days of them depending on Eve to save them are over. All of the world teams are developing the rest of the players not just the skip.

Homan has to be the strong favourite at the trials...Sweeting over Jones but Jones did the same before 2014, was rather mediocre then roared through the Roar! and by sheer determination (Lawes Olympic stats in the final were 68%!!!) won Olympic Gold. But again, does she have the taste for making any more changes to her team?

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Old Post 05-01-17 10:22AM
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Manitoba Legend
Supreme Champion!

Registered: Jan 2009
Location: Hovel of Fame
Posts: 10869

quote:
Originally posted by curlerbroad
If you want to go to the Olympics, then you don't have friends only very good teammates!

Your predictions are pretty good. Muirhead really needs to get her team curling better. The days of them depending on Eve to save them are over. All of the world teams are developing the rest of the players not just the skip.

Homan has to be the strong favourite at the trials...Sweeting over Jones but Jones did the same before 2014, was rather mediocre then roared through the Roar! and by sheer determination (Lawes Olympic stats in the final were 68%!!!) won Olympic Gold. But again, does she have the taste for making any more changes to her team?



If Jones wants to improve her team she simply needs to get better on the T - line-calling and weight recognition. Those are pretty much her two greatest weaknesses - she's still very good - but nowhere near as good as Rachel/Emma or Val/Lori. Unless Officer or Dawn step away from the game - I don't think Jones has the appetite for changing players - although I'm sure she was eye-balling Sara Wilkes whenever she could this week. Officer is 42 but she's Jones most loyal lieutenant over her great run. Most other Jones spots have been rotational (3 or 4 3rds, 4 or 5 leads).
Homan can cut thru Jones like a hot knife thru butter when Jones goes wonky on her rock-positioning. Homan is one person you don't want to expose secondary shots to.
That said, Officer is still a powerful hitter who may not be able to match Joanne Courtney's percentages - Jill is still the 2nd most powerful brusher in the country!

Homan will have to suffer a major meltdown to avoid a berth in the Olympic trials final. Schiedegger, Sweeting, Jones will compete for the secondary berth.

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Old Post 05-01-17 11:14AM
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Stoner
Drawmaster

Registered: Mar 2013
Location:
Posts: 618

quote:
Originally posted by Manitoba Legend


The entire team is a superior group of athletes. Sara Mac @ 3rd is really asserting herself as a dominant 3rd player. We all know Eve Muirhead missed the boat by letting her out of her mitts in Scotland.

But the real surprises have been Agnes at 2nd and Mabergs at lead. Agnes appears to be advancing on the top 2nds (Wilkes, Courtney, Officer, etc.) in Canada and she's already the top 2nd in Sweden and probably Europe.

Mobergs has turned into more than a pin-up queen - the smallest of the Swedish big girls but no question one of the most powerful brushers in the game (after Queen Courtney)

If Hasselborg can somehow transition into being more of a killer and stop being just a good nice-girl curler - WATCH OUT.

Other big question for 2018 is where Sara Wilkes slots in. Will Homan pick the athletic and fairly young Sara up as team 5th?
One thing I noticed about Sara - she's almost as tall as Emma, yet doesn't quite have the flexibility in her delivery that all the Homan players have. That's part training, part conditioning. Look how the Homan camp developed Courtney into a blockbuster 2nd, re-shaping her delivery and certain technical issues like release and rotation.

I know Sara Wilkes would benefit from that kind of exceptional training - training the Homan team has earned by being champions and big cash winners.

If she can't slot in with Homan - will she park her services with Shannon Kliebrink for another season? Does Kliebrink even have the health required to go thru another gruelling season at her advanced age?

With Rocque back from the universiade games perhaps Wilkes will re-join and fortify her former munchkin friend Crocker.

Rocque's expected climb to the top of women's curling has sort of plateaued -- - part of it is Laura Crocker doesn't appear to be anything more than a slightly above average 3rd. Many times she's below average and that has to hurt Rocque, facing hi degree of difficulty shots. Wilkes might be a better bet to play 3rd w/ Crocker stepping down to front end duties.
As far as Wilkes going nomad - and running to another province, the only places I can visualize for her is Ontario - perhaps for Tracey Fleury - Fleury needs to improve her team to be able to torment the top squads next year. Wilkes might be the answer on the front end - but they'd have to cut a friend (or sister) to do that.



I was just talking about their drawing skills, didn't expect an indepth supposition.

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Old Post 05-01-17 07:38PM
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Manitoba Legend
Supreme Champion!

Registered: Jan 2009
Location: Hovel of Fame
Posts: 10869

quote:
Originally posted by curlerbroad
If you want to go to the Olympics, then you don't have friends only very good teammates!

Your predictions are pretty good. Muirhead really needs to get her team curling better. The days of them depending on Eve to save them are over. All of the world teams are developing the rest of the players not just the skip.

Homan has to be the strong favourite at the trials...Sweeting over Jones but Jones did the same before 2014, was rather mediocre then roared through the Roar! and by sheer determination (Lawes Olympic stats in the final were 68%!!!) won Olympic Gold. But again, does she have the taste for making any more changes to her team?



Eve's game is probably as good as ever but as you say she's facing an increasingly difficult array of last rocks to bail her team out - most teams are able to get her to go wider and wider - even off the board.
Jones main problem is NOT age. JJ comes out of the hack as good as she's ever done. Her problem is either ice or hitting the stick. If she hits the stick, too often we've seen her shots not react as expected. If she's got the right ice she's now missing the stick on too many occasions.
Homan is now the only pro skip who can make a fairly high percentage of those jump shots - mainly because both her and Emma are superb at reading ice - and Rachel usually is right on the stick when she fires those hi-rotation bombs.
Val Sweeting is also very good at tough stuff - but Val can't match Homan in the leg drive department so her amazing shots are usually back line to heavy-hack weight. She doesn't throw runners w/ near the accuracy of Homan, nor Jones in her prime.

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Old Post 05-01-17 08:52PM
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