When I found them, they literally took my breath away.
For the free skate, anything over 170 points is considered an excellent score. Patrick Chan's free skate score was 197.07, blowing away his previous best free skate score from the Grand Prix Final in December by 22.91 points. (His Grand Prix Final free skate score of 174.16 was just shy of the world record free skate score of 175.84 held by Daisuke Takahashi. Apparently, the ISU only counts scores in international competitions for world records, which seems unfair on one hand, but on the other hand, it also seems that intranational judges' scores are often a bit inflated. Like the judges at the 2010 Russian Nationals gave Plushenko a score of 100.something; yeah, I'm so sure.) According to the reports, Chan did two quads in the free skate program, substituting a quad for one of his problematic triple axels. This was probably a risky move, but it obviously turned out to be a wise decision.
With a total combined score of 285.85, he defeated the silver medalist by a whopping 56.26 points. To put that in perspective, he won the Grand Prix Final in December with a combined score of 259.75 and beat the silver medalist by 16.94 points.
I'm just waiting with bated breath for someone to put his Nationals free skate up on YouTube so I can watch it, because this is something I've GOT to see!
Much has been made of Chan's Canadian rival Kevin Reynolds trying to do as many quads (and as many different quads) in his programs as the rules allow. They've been calling Reynolds the Quad King. Well, I've not been able to find a full recap, but from what I've been able to glean, Reynolds struggled a lot during both his programs and ended up finishing fourth (and not qualifying for Worlds) so I think it's safe to say that we have a new Quad King, or at least a new Canadian Quad King.
I've said before that I think this is his year to win the World Championships, and I remain convinced of that. I think his greatest competition will come from Japan, specifically from from Takahashi and Kozuka. But honestly, I think he has nothing really to fear but fear itself. Well, fear and the triple axel, his weakest element. And yet, with two quads and his consistently high component scores, I think he could even afford a mistake on the triple axel. My greatest fear for him is that he's peaked too early, so I hope he takes some time to rest and regroup before the World Championships in March. Don't get me wrong; I love our U.S. men's team and of course I want them to do well at the World Championships, but I love Patrick Chan too, and I really want that title for him this year.
If anyone else is curious, here's his short program from Canadian Nationals, which has already been posted on YouTube by some generous soul. I really like everything about this program: the music, the choreography, the fun and whimsical tone. In particular, watch for his camel spin, one of my favorite elements in the whole program. Everyone always talks about how beautiful and intricate and precise his footwork is, with very good reason, but I could also watch his camel spin all day; it's one of the nicest I have ever seen.