Albert Einstein was 26 when he published a paper titled Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?
We know it better as the famous equation E=mc².
Napoleon Bonaparte was 26 when he conquered Italy.
Steve Wozniak was that age when he co-founded Apple Computers.
So, yeah, 26 is a good age to start leaving your mark on the world.
That just happens to be the average age of the Edmonton Oilers as the 2017-18 season gets underway, making them the fifth youngest team in NHL, a team with the weight of great expectations on its shoulders, a team that failed to meet those expectations on Saturday in Vancouver (3-2 loss) and two nights later at home against Winnipeg (5-2 loss).
After a day off, Oilers coach Todd McLellan had his young players in the video room on Wednesday, then put them through a hard, sweaty 45-minute practice on the ice.
The drills ranged from backchecking, to one-on-one play, to some heavy work along the boards.
“Feels pretty tough right now, the legs are tired,” defenceman Oscar Klefbom said after the on-ice session. “But this is what we need right now.”
‘We’ll be better for it’
Asked if he was surprised the team needed such a session a week in, McLellan said no.
“We have a young group that’s learning how to do it, day in and day out,” he said after practice. “Sometimes the willingness to do it gets away on you a little bit. So our young group had to be reminded and we’ll be better for it.”
Any talk with his players that had happened behind closed doors will remain there.
“They took their lumps in the video session,” McLellan said. “We got a lot out of practice as well. But it’s what we do with it. Teams have to be reminded, especially early in the year, that it’s tough to win.”
The Oilers aren’t alone in their early-season funk. Just ask the Montreal Canadiens (1-3 with two points) or the Jets themselves (1-2 with two points).
The season is a week old, but for fans it’s never too soon to begin the airing of grievances or the second-guessing…