Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 12/23/11
It has been a wonderful start to the season for the Minnesota Wild as new head coach Mike Yeo has had the team in the upper end of the NHL standings almost the entire way. A serious rash of injuries has the team limping into the holiday break this weekend, but the new year should bring with it better health and a possible playoff berth for the first time in four years.As the team broke for the holiday weekend, we asked several players what their plans were:Goalie Josh Harding: "I'm looking forward to spending Christmas Eve with my gals family and then having our own little celebration on Sunday together. I have always loved Christmas, and growing up it was always a really big deal in our family, so I am excited to keep that tradition going. It's also nice that I already have all my shopping done so the stressful stuff is out of the way. Time to relax and enjoy the holiday."Defenseman Clayton Stoner: "My fiance and I will probably spend the next couple of days just relaxing and getting ready for the festivities. Then, on Christmas Eve, we will be getting together with some of my Wild teammates to celebrate the holiday. It will be great to have the turkey and spend some time away from the rink to recharge the battery a little bit. However, we all need to be mindful that we have a game on Monday, so after the weekend it's back to work."Forward Brad Staubitz: "I'm looking forward to getting some time to relax. The season is fun, but it can be a grind, so to have a weekend off is really nice. I will be spending Christmas in Minnesota, and it will be very laid-back."Forward Nick Johnson: "Being from Alberta this road trip worked out perfect, so I can get back home for the holidays for the first time in a while. It will be great to see all of my family and friends and my birthday is Christmas Eve, so this weekend will be extra-special from that perspective. I think we all are looking forward to a little time off. This season has been great fun, but also it's been a lot of hard work. We can use this weekend to get energized for a great second half of the season."Defenseman Jared Spurgeon: "It's great to be playing in Edmonton right before the holiday break. I will stay up here and spend the weekend with my family. it's always great o be with them for Christmas. Last year when I was in Houston, we only had one day off, so I didn't get to come home for the holidays."Defenseman Marco Scandella: "I'm just going to hang with some of my teammates back in Minny. My parents are going to Italy to see my brother, so it will work out well to hang with some of the boys this weekend. The Cullen family was nice enough to invite me over, so that will be really cool. And Latendresse will also be hosting me part of the holiday weekend. When you play on a team as close as ours, these guys become your family. Pretty special stuff in here. I also need to finish my shopping. Like a lot of the guys in here, I've got some catching up to do when we get home."Assistant general manager Brent Flahr: "I grew up on Vancouver island, so I will fly from here (Edmonton) back home to spend the next couple of days with my family. It's always extra special to be home for the holidays, but it will be a short weekend. I will fly back to Edmonton to watch all of our young prospects in the World Juniors here next week. That tourney is always so much fun to attend."
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