Opining on Europeans: Crazy falls, a new pair, and thank you, Florent

Just because I'm a little nostalgic, I'm going to have a look back at Europeans, which happened a couple of weeks ago. What did you miss? What does it mean for Worlds? 

Pogorilaya's crazy falls (and what they portend)
Bronze medalist Anna Pogorilaya, part of the Russian women's sweep, has had quite a season of falls. She's had moments of brilliance, as evident in her win at Mordavian Ornament earlier this season and her surprise third-place finish at Russian Nationals.

But after that strong Nationals, Europeans was the site of more crazy falls. Her free skate saw two of them, and while she did finish third, her performances in Bratislava do not guarantee her a spot at Worlds. Russia has three spots for the ladies' event in Boston, and European champ Evgenia Medvedeva and silver medalist Elena Radionova are locks for two of them. The third spot is still open, and it will likely be a showdown between Pogorilaya and Julia Lipnitskaia at the Russian domestic competition later this month.

Note that reigning World champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva has been ruled out for Worlds by her coach, Alexei Mishin, even though she is still competing this season.

Savchenko/Massot are the real deal
There were certainly plenty of oohs and aahs for now-four-time European champions Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov, who skated their best competition of the season so far. But the heads were turning for new pair Aliona Savchenko/Bruno Massot, who turned in a brilliant short program that scored a 76.30, making them one of only seven pairs ever to break 76 points in the short program. Incidentally, Savchenko was one of those other six with former partner Robin Szolkowy.

Unfortunately, they didn't give Volosozhar/Trankov much competition in the free skate, as they were one of a few pairs at Europeans to struggle with their lifts. Savchenko/Massot lost 12 points in base value with two invalidated lifts. And if you look at the numbers and did some hypotheticals, they would have scored in the mid-140s with a clean skate, which would've been plenty competitive with Volosozhar/Trankov. So yeah, count them in for that World title contender list in Boston.

Wait, Alexei Bychenko?
After a fourth-place finish at last year's Europeans, Alexei Bychenko looked like he was going to really have a break through. But then he got 17th at Worlds, and then this season, last at Skate America, tenth at Rostelecom Cup. And so his silver medal finish in Bratislava was certainly one of the most unexpected podium finishes in recent memory. Now to carry that over to Worlds.

Farewell, Florent
A lot of tears were shed for fan favorite and sometimes fan frustrating Florent Amodio when he retired after one of the best free skates of his career at Europeans. Amodio had a story that was made for an NBC Olympic primetime fluff story - born in Brazil, adopted by French parents, basically catapulted out of nowhere in the 2009-10 season to win French Nationals and take the non-Joubert second spot for the Olympics.

Since then, he won three more French titles, all three European medals (including the title in 2011), and grabbed a fifth-place finish at Worlds in 2012. But the past couple of seasons have been a struggle, with a seeming lack of discipline that made him sometimes seem more rebel than serious contender. But there were moments of his past glory this season, and he really could not have closed out his final competition any better than with the free skate that he skated. And also, very appropriately, he went back to the free skate that took him to that career-high fifth at Worlds.

Watch Nikolai Morozov's reactions. They tell you everything you need to know.