Nick Cousins is probably going to be a pretty decent piece in the Philadelphia Flyers organization at some point, but for now, the 2011 third round pick is still perfecting his craft at the Major Junior level. His most recent outing came on Friday night against the London Knights, when this happened, via the (perhaps slightly partisan) London Free Press:
As time expired on the 'Hounds' 4-3 victory over the Canadian Hockey League's top-ranked team before 9,046 Friday night at the John Labatt Centre, Sault Ste. Marie's pesky forward Nick Cousins taunted the Knights, earning a retaliatory slash from Ryan Rupert.
That triggered a series of end-of-game fights, serious bad blood and sets the stage for the Knights' final two regular season games against the 'Hounds - both in January in Sault Ste. Marie.
Cousins received a misconduct for inciting and Rupert received a major penalty for his slash.
There are suspensions in store for the multiple scraps. Both teams stayed on the ice surface an additional five minutes after the final buzzer as a full-scale brawl threatened to break out.
"I'm not naming names but if they go to their goalie to celebrate, then nothing happens," London GM Mark Hunter said.
The Greyhounds didn't and something happened.
Something certainly happened alright, and reading this, you'd think it was just your run-of-the-mill slash across the shin or something. No, not exactly. Video below.
We're not exactly condoning what Cousins did here, and it seems as though he has this type of history in the OHL, at least if you're to believe the remainder of that London Free Press article...
That appears to be becoming a habit when Cousins, an 18-year-old Philadelphia draft pick, is on the scene. Another incident broke out recently in Kitchener.
"Nick will get under your skin," said Soo defenceman Ryan Sproul, who scored the third-period winner. "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 and that's what we did."
... but regardless, that's not exactly worthy of getting slashed in the stomach, and then jumped. Bush league nonsense right there. Honestly, Cousins might be the kind of player that gets under the skin of the opposition, but he's clearly doing it smartly. He has 18 PIM in 20 games with Sault Ste. Marie this season, and he topped out at 56 PIM in 68 games a season ago. Not exactly Zac Rinaldo or Dan Carcillo-level crazy we're talking about here.
If a guy is inciting that response from the opposing team and is apparently doing it pretty cleanly, in ways that aren't hurting his team, well... that's the kind of guy I want on my side.
H/T: Puck Daddy