Of all the mothers who attended Canucks morning skate Tuesday, Lena Markstrom was the only one wearing her son’s jersey.
She was the only one taking photos of the Colorado Avalanche, seemingly on a reconnaissance mission gathering intel on the enemy.
She was also the only one who gave me the mom eye, while talking to me in the mom tone.
“You can’t write about this,” said Lena, firm but lovingly. “Jacob told me no stories were to be shared. I want him to come home in the summers, so I have to listen to him!”
I smiled. I laughed.
“I’m serious, you can’t write about this.”
If you’re thinking Lena revealed every skeleton in Jacob’s closet, you’re mistaken. Yay-cob, as she calls him in her Swedish tongue, is a good boy and always has been. He doesn’t get nervous on game days, such as today, and neither does she. There’s nothing she can do to help him win except be supportive, so that’s her mission.
Jacob may be laidback, but he’s fiery, she said, and wants to win. Everything. He’s hardworking and humble and doesn’t like the spotlight, hence her trying to deny my story.
Not to worry, it was cleared with Jacob, who was relieved to hear she didn’t share any dirt.
So there is dirt?
If so, Lena wasn’t showing her hand. She’s Jacob’s biggest fan, so much so that when the Canucks play in Vancouver, regardless of if Jacob is starting or not, she’s awake at 4 a.m. in Sweden to watch the games before going to work. If it’s an east coast 4 p.m. PST start, she goes to bed early, wakes up to watch and goes back to sleep before going to work.
She’s dedicated to her son’s career, which could have gone a completely different direction.
Jacob’s father Anders was a professional soccer goalie in Sweden and Lena was a goaltender as well, “but not professional!” she’s quick to point out. His older brother Tim is also a soccer goalie, and his younger sister Ida, a soccer forward.
“Jacob was very good at soccer and at age 15 he was getting looked at by the Swedish national team and had to choose,” Lena explained. “Hockey or soccer? It was a tough decision to him I think, but we said it was his to make and we’d support him either way.”
Watching her son in morning skate, Lena beamed with pride. She took photos and not with an iPhone, with a DSLR, zooming in and out as Jacob made save after save.
“He loves Vancouver and the team. It’s very good for him to be around other Swedish players too, I like that. And he’s having fun, I can tell.”
Mother knows best.
She has a feeling Jacob will play well against the Avalanche, yet wouldn’t give me an exact score.
It’s like she didn’t trust me not to write about it.
These moms are an absolute hoot. They flooded into the dressing room after morning skate taking hundreds of photos, including selfies in their son’s stalls.
What surprised them the most about the dressing room? The selection of gum.
“They have Double Bubble here, I haven’t seen that in years,” laughed one mother.
“Grab me a couple pieces!” giggled another.
Proud mothers one minute, kids in a candy store the next!