Kovalev sick of high-Carb diet?

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:14 AM ET

Habs winger Alexei Kovalev's veiled criticism of coach Guy Carbonneau had Montreal abuzz yesterday.

Kovalev was all the rage after he discussed the way the Habs blew a 1-0 lead with 11 seconds left in the third period, then lost 2-1 in a shootout to Florida at the Bell Centre.

Kovalev, who has been rumoured to be headed to Calgary for in exchange for Alex Tanguay, said Carbonneau could have avoided the whole mess when Habs defenceman Mike Komisarek was penalized with 2:14 left if the coach had taken a timeout to settle the troops down.

"In the last two minutes, we knew they were going to put a lot of pressure on us," Kovalev said after the game. "It was just my idea, but maybe we could have taken a timeout, gotten organized and put the right people on the ice.Maybe it could have been better. That's just what I saw from the bench."

Carbonneau said yesterday that he understood Kovalev's frustration, but would prefer if the enigmatic winger kept his feelings in house.

"I wish that this type of comment would have stayed in the room," said Carbonneau prior to the Habs' bus ride to Ottawa for tonight's game against the Senators. "Everybody was frustrated after the game. I have no problems with Kovalev, but if he has something to say, he can come into my office and talk about it."

Carbonneau planned to tell the Habs that there's some dirty laundry that doesn't need to be aired publicly.

"There's some things that have to stay in the room," said Carbonneau.

HOME SWEET HOME: Randy Robitaille emerged from the Senators dressing room just past noon yesterday with a big smile after learning he had cleared waivers. Robitaille, who signed a one-year, $625,000 (all terms US) deal with the Senators on Tuesday, had to wait anxiously for 24 hours to find out if he'd clear waivers. He is expected to suit up against the Habs tonight. There was a belief Robitaille may be claimed by the Islanders -- for whom he played last season -- but GM Garth Snow passed. A source said the Isles had offered Robitaille a one-year, $1.3-million deal in the summer, but he passed on the contract and decided to accept a lucrative deal in Russia. "I'm excited to be part of a organization that's got a winning tradition and off to a great start," said Robitaille, who is with his ninth NHL team. "Obviously, you don't know what to expect and what the needs are at this time of the year. Fortunately for myself and my family, we've ended up in a good spot." Robitaille skated with Mike Fisher and Patrick Eaves yesterday in practice. His arrival could mean rookie W Nick Foligno is bound for Binghamton of the AHL when the dust settles. Robitaille, an Ottawa native, is pleased to be home. "Growing up, because Ottawa didn't have a team, I was a big Montreal Canadiens fan, but obviously that has changed," said Robitaille. "I know what the Senators mean to this community and that they're something special. It's nice to be a part of that."

OFF THE GLASS: Coach John Paddock respects the Habs. "I hope that we're mature enough to not to take anybody lightly because there's no reason to," said Paddock. "The (Canadiens) get a lot of scoring chances and they're a really good neutral zone team. The team that controls the neutral zone usually wins the game. If we're going to turns pucks over between the blue lines, they're probably going to outshoot us and outchance us" ... W Antoine Vermette didn't skate for the second straight day because of "soreness," but said he'll play vs. the Habs ... C Dean McAmmond is no longer bothered by post-concussion syndrome, but won't return yet because of a shoulder injury he suffered as a result of the hit from Philadelphia's Steve Downie on Sept. 25. "His head is fine and he's skating fine, but he hasn't got strength or mobility in his arm yet. When that's fine, I'm sure he'll say and he'll be ready to go," said Paddock ... Habs W Guillaume Latendresse, who was a healthy scratch on Tuesday, will return to the lineup vs. Ottawa.


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