Welcome to the Official Site of the Philadelphia Flyers Join the Flyer Wire List Official Facebook of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Twitter of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Instagram of the Philadelphia Flyers Official LinkedIn of the Philadelphia Flyers
 
 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Keeping an eye on Cousins

Sunday, 08.5.2012 / 9:39 AM ET / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter
X
Share with your Friends


Keeping an eye on Cousins
false
There have been plenty of them over the years who have stuck in the craw of many Flyers and their fans.

In the 80s it was Dale Hunter in Washington. In the 90s it was Matthew Barnaby in Buffalo. In the 2000s it was Sean Avery – wherever he played and now it’s Brad Marchand in Boston.

Smallish players who have an ability to make your skin crawl with the way they play the game on the ice – toeing the line between dirty play and merely being a pest, it is these sandpaper types whose job it is to get the opposing players off their game.

The players find them annoying. The fans have so much venom, they’d prefer that each cretin be drawn and quartered – live on the JumboTron.

But now it appears the Flyers are grooming one of their own.

That’s because their top prospect is a kid with an edge. A mouthy little guy unafraid of retribution who also has an ability to score.

Meet Nick Cousins, the next great Flyers agitator.

“I’ve watched him play a bunch of times in the last year and I really like him because he reminds me of me,” said Flyers Director of Player Development Ian Laperriere. “He’s got more skill, but we play a similar type of game where he gets under your skin and draws a lot of attention on himself and handles it well. You need that on your team.”

And there’s a chance it won’t be long until we see Cousins on the Flyers.

The odds are pretty good that Cousins, 19, will be sent back to juniors following training camp, but he’s definitely a guy the Flyers brass is going to keep an eye on as well.

Originally a third round pick by the Flyers in the 2011 draft, Cousins blossomed last season by posting 88 points for the Sault St. Marie Greyhounds in just 65 games. He also added 88 penalty minutes, evidence of that two-tiered approach to his game.

“Yeah, it’s part of my game, I’m not going to hide from it,” Cousins said about being a provocateur. “It’s the way I’ve always played – ever since I was little. I like to talk a lot out there and sometimes people don’t like to hear what I have to say.”

A sheepish grin immediately followed, letting you know Cousins doesn’t just yap as an emotional reaction, but very likely in a more calculated fashion.

It is this pre-meditated approach to hockey that makes him such a high-end prospect, but it has also gotten him on the wrong end of an opponent’s fury.

Last November, while playing the Greyhounds, Cousins’ team had just completed a thrilling 4-3 win over their rival London Knights in London.

As the horn sounded, rather than celebrate with his team, Cousins shut the puck into the empty net at the other end of the ice and then raised his arms in celebration after the puck went in.

Knights defenseman Ryan Rupert didn’t take too kindly to this act of showmanship and slashed Cousins in the stomach as he skated by. It earned Rupert a 20-game suspension, but more so than that, furthered Cousins already sizeable reputation as an agitator extraordinaire.

“Nick will get under your skin,” teammate Ryan Sproul told the London Free Press. “He’s the kind of guy you love to have on your team and hate to play against.

“You talk to guys and they say they can’t stand him, but he’s our best player and we're going to stand behind him.”

It’s because of this style of game that Cousins will likely draw attention to himself once training camp opens in September.

The Flyers faithful will love his spunk and spirit, and call for him to make the team as that loveable louse.

The media will gush all over about him, clamoring for him to make the team as the needed salt to rub in to the opponent’s wounds.

And while the impatience is there for everyone – Cousins included – he knows where he stands right now.

“You just try to block all that out,” he said. “If you put too much pressure on yourself you don’t play your style of game. You can get carried away with all the media hype, but coming in here I block that stuff out and do what got me here.

“My mindset going into camp is to do what I do best and be the player I am. Work hard, play my game and go in there with nothing to lose. If they keep me, great. If they send me back to junior, I do that for another year and try again next year.”

As for the anticipation of one day making it to the big club…

“It’s exciting,” he said. “Hopefully I have a future with this organization. I want things to fast forward a little bit, but I have to be patient and the Flyers have to be patient with my development. They’re not going to rush anything, neither am I and hopefully my time will come.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 82 22 59 1 81
C. Giroux 81 25 48 -3 73
M. Streit 81 9 43 -8 52
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
B. Schenn 82 18 29 -5 47
S. Couturier 82 15 22 4 37
M. Del Zotto 64 10 22 -5 32
M. Read 80 8 22 -4 30
M. Raffl 67 21 7 6 28
V. Lecavalier 57 8 12 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 18 18 11 .928 2.25
R. Emery 10 11 7 .894 3.06
Privacy Policy | AdChoices | California Privacy Rights | Contact Us | Advertise Employment | NHL.com Terms of Use

Philadelphiaflyers.com is the official Web site of the Philadelphia Flyers. Philadelphia Flyers and philadelphiaflyers.com are trademarks of Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.