Buffalo Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons is a pretty low-key guy.
He just likes to chill out when he is away from the rink. At the rink, he hates to talk about himself and will usually try to deflect the conversation toward teammates or another topic.
So it isn't difficult to see that the 21-year-old Latvian is not entirely comfortable with the spotlight provided by his countryman during the voting for the 2015 Dodge NHL All-Star Game. Hockey-mad Latvians outdueled Chicago Blackhawks fans in stuffing the ballot box, resulting in Girgensons receiving the most votes out of any player.
In the voting, the fans chose the first six All-Stars. The second-year center received 1,574,896 votes, more than 300,000 ahead of the runner-up, Chicago forward Patrick Kane.
Girgensons is immensely popular back home, not only for his exploits with the Sabres but for his contributions to the Latvian national team in the World Championships and the 2014 Sochi Olympics. How popular? A Latvian rap group made a song and video about him and his hockey-playing success.
This season, Girgensons has been a beacon of hope for the struggling Sabres. He leads them in goals (13), even-strength goals (11) and shorthanded goals (two). He's also tops among Buffalo's forwards in average time on ice (19:03).
NHL.com caught up to Girgensons during Buffalo's recent stop to play the New Jersey Devils and discussed the viral video campaign, Girgensons' love of his country and international hockey, and what he likes to do when he is away from the rink.