Khudobin mulls move to KHL when Bruins contract ends

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Khudobin mulls move to KHL when Bruins contract ends

David Krejci, Anton Khudobin and Dougie Hamilton were the only three Bruins players still missing from the Bruins contingent skating at Ristuccia Arena on Thursday morning. Krejci is headed back from the Czech Republic and theres no reason to think the playmaking center wont be back in Black and Gold by Sundays start to training camp at the very latest.

Since theres a very formal process to a junior hockey player joining an NHL camp, its expected that the 19-year-old Hamilton wont be here until camp officially opens on Jan. 13. The 2011 first round pick will be given every chance to make the Bruins roster, and barring any unforeseen struggles should be in the opening night lineup.

Khudobin is in the same boat as Krejci: the Kazakhstan native is returning from the Moscow Oblast Atlant team hed been playing with in the KHL for the duration of the lockout. But theres one twist with the 26-year-old Khudobin: hes already begun making noise in his native country that he might prefer to remain in the KHL long term.

The Bruins are expecting him for training camp this weekend just like everybody else, and he impressed in a 44-save shutout against the Ottawa Senators at the end of last year's regular season. But Khudobin told a Russian media outlet, RSport, that he might prefer playing in Russia to the North American NHL game.

I can say that these three months have been simply excellent," said Khudobin, who was 6-14-4 with a .912 save percentage and a 2.96 goals against average in the KHL this season. In the summer my contract with Boston finishes, and the choice of which league to play is going to be a serious dilemma.

I could definitely turn up in the KHL, why not? Here you get really good hockey, it's a really decent league. The KHL is taking confident steps forward, and that's something that's really pleasing."

It was stated within that report that Khudobin was contractually obligated to head for Boston as soon as the NHL lockout was over, so he should be turning up at Ristuccia Arena for practice any day now. But the confusion with Russian players like Ilya Kovalchuk skating in the KHL over the last few days means nothing should taken for granted until the player has officially reported to camp.

Blakely: Blown call didn't cost Celtics the game Saturday vs. Blazers

Blakely: Blown call didn't cost Celtics the game Saturday vs. Blazers

WALTHAM -- You won’t find the Boston Celtics blaming anyone but themselves for Saturday’s 127-123 overtime loss to Portland. 
 
But they certainly didn’t get any breaks down the stretch from the referees, who made a huge officiating mistake in the final seconds of regulation. 

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Following a Celtics miss in the game’s closing seconds, Blazers guard Damian Lillard wound up with the ball but was stripped almost immediately by Marcus Smart, who put the steal back in for a lay-up that would have given Boston a one-point lead with 10.8 seconds to play. 
 
The ruling on the floor at the time was a foul against Smart. But officials later determined as part of their report on the final two minutes of the game, that the foul against Smart was an incorrect call.
 
“It just pisses you off, doesn’t it?” Crowder said. “It just pisses you off. I don’t like it.”
 
Crowder, like a number of players I have spoken to about this particular subject, is not a fan of the league releasing the information. 
 
And his reasoning, like his NBA brethren, is simple. 
 
There’s no recourse relative to that particular game if the officials in fact got a call wrong. 
 
So for their purposes, the transparency that the league is seeking, while just, doesn’t do them a damn bit of good when it comes to what matters most to them. Which is wins and losses. 
 
“It’s over now. It’s too late to confirm it now,” said Smart who told media following the loss that the steal was clean. “The game is over with. It is what it is; on to the next game now.”
 
Smart added that having the league confirm the call was wrong is frustrating. 
 
“They come back and tell you they miss the call, but it’s over now,” Smart said. “We’re on to the next game. It’s like they shouldn’t even said it. But I understand it; they’re trying to take responsibility and show they made a bad call. We appreciate it but at that time as a player it’s frustrating. That possibly could have won us the game.”
 
But as Smart, coach Brad Stevens and other players asked about it mentioned, Boston made so many mistakes against the Blazers and played so uncharacteristically for long stretches that it would be unfair and just not right to pin the game’s outcome on one bad call late in the game. 
 
“It happens,” said Stevens who added that he’s never read a two-minute report other than what he has seen published by the media. “There were plenty of things we could have done better.”
 
He’s right.
 
That blown call didn’t cost the Boston Celtics the game. 
 
Their play did. 
 
The Celtics turned the ball over 21 times that led to 34 points, both season highs. 
 
They couldn’t contain C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard, two of the league’s most explosive guards who combined for 63 points on 20-for-42 shooting.
 
Boston allowed Myers Leonard to score a season-high 17 points. 
 
Certainly the bad call against Smart was a factor. 
 
But it would not have been an issue if the Celtics had done a better job of controlling the things they could have controlled, like defending shooters better, making smarter decisions when it came to passing the ball and maybe most significant, play with a higher, more consistent level of aggression around the rim. 

Bradley, Green and Jackson to miss Celtics' game Tuesday against Wizards

Bradley, Green and Jackson to miss Celtics' game Tuesday against Wizards

WALTHAM -- The team flight to Washington for tomorrow night's game against the Wizards will be a little lighter than the Celtics would like. 
 
Boston continues to be cautious with Avery Bradley and his right Achilles strain injury. Coach Brad Stevens confirmed that the 6-foot-2 guard won't travel and will sit out for the seventh time in the last eight games. 

Stevens added he didn't anticipate Bradley returning to the court anytime this week, which means he's likely not to return until next week's game against Detroit on Jan. 30. 
 
Bradley won’t be the only Celtic not making the trip for health-related reasons. Gerald Green and Demetrius Jackson are both not traveling due to sickness. 
 
However, the Celtics did get a bit of good news on the health front. Jonas Jerebko and Tyler Zeller, both having missed games with sickness, will take the trip to D.C. with the rest of their teammates.