MONTREAL - Remember this video Victor Mete shared two years ago featuring his beloved nonna or grandmother, Vincenzina? Well, we're still enjoying every second of it.
It's plain to see just how much she adores her grandson and takes tremendous pride in his accomplishments. And she always will.
The 21-year-old defenseman's nonna is an integral part of his support system back home in Woodbridge, ON.
Case in point were her almost daily phone calls while he was recovering from a recent ankle injury that sidelined him for three weeks.
"She was calling me all the time to see how it was going. She would always give me encouragement, like "Don't come back too soon if you're still hurt" and "Take your time," but she obviously wanted me to get back fast and was doing some type of Italian healing stuff, too," said Mete, who missed 10 games before returning to the lineup on December 23 in Winnipeg. "She's happy I'm back now, though, and she watched that game against the Jets."
Mete's nonna certainly wasn't going to miss that contest. In fact, she never misses a game.
Watching the Canadiens has become routine for her ever since Victor earned a roster spot in October 2017.
"Since I've started playing with Montreal, she's watched everything, every game, even the ones on the West Coast," said Mete, before sharing a funny story about his maternal grandmother's commitment to remain a loyal viewer and maintain her rather impressive fitness regimen at the same time. "When we were in Arizona, Las Vegas and Dallas, she was telling me about staying up late for games and still waking up at 4:30 a.m. the next morning to go the gym. She was bragging about watching us until 1:00 a.m. and still managing to have thousands of steps on her Fitbit by 6:00 a.m."
His nonna didn't watch the November 5 contest against the Boston Bruins on TV, however.
She was actually in the Bell Centre stands to witness the first multi-goal game of Mete's career in a 5-4 triumph on home turf.
"She loved it. It was cool to have her see a Montreal-Boston game, too, because you probably won't get a better atmosphere than that," mentioned Mete, who scored his second and third goals of the season versus Boston. "The first goal, she was happy. She didn't know I scored the second goal right away, but she went crazy when she found out. After the game, we met up and she gave me a big hug."
For Mete, visits from his nonna are also a chance to enjoy some of her special treats and famous dishes.
His personal favorites include her fettina (breaded veal and chicken), homemade Italian cookies, and chocolate biscotti.
"And there's always vegetables," added Mete with a laugh. "She believes in eating a lot of rapini. That kind of stuff helps make you stronger. But all her stuff is always the best."
The bottom line is that Mete can't thank her enough for always being there for him and his family.
She's been a constant presence in his life for as long as he can remember.
"I've always been really close with her. We'd always go over there for dinner or after school for early dinners. I was even living with her for one year with my mom, my dad and my sister while my house was going through renovations, so I got to spend a lot of time with her and got to know her pretty well," confided Mete. "I remember every time I was sick, I'd go over to her house and whatever she did, she'd always make us feel better. It didn't matter how sick we were. Even now we'll go over there and she'll have treats and stuff for us, just like when we were younger."
One popular lady
Apparently, Vincenzina is rather famous in the Canadiens' locker room.
"Everybody pretty much knows her," confirmed Mete. "Once a week, KK will tell me to say hi to her. Some of the other boys will also say the same thing."
When she was in town in November, she even met a couple of Mete's teammates at a local restaurant, La Medusa.
"She loves seeing the boys," added Mete. "It makes her happy."
And aside from being a big fan of her grandson, of course, fellow youngster Cale Fleury is high atop her list as well.
"I got a text from my aunt when we were in Columbus in November. She wanted to pass along a message from my nonna to Cale wishing him a happy birthday," mentioned Mete. "I made sure to deliver that to him."
Talk about adorable… So what did you get her for Christmas, Victor?
"We got her a photo of all of the grandchildren," concluded Mete. "She started crying."