KANATA, Ontario –On Sunday, Landon Ferraro participated in his first team practice since he suffered a sprained knee in Toronto on Nov. 6
“It felt really good,” Ferraro said after skating at Canadian Tire Centre. “I only feel that I’m getting stronger on it. … I feel fast and I feel like my tight turns are getting strong and that’s where I think where you really notice it the most.”
The 24-year-old Ferraro was injured in the opening minutes of the Red Wings’ 2-1 overtime win over the Maple Leafs when he collided with P.A. Parenteau.
“I saw the replay of when I kind of bounced off and the other guy, when Parenteau kind of ran into my knee,” Ferraro said. “But I felt it after I hit (defenseman Scott) Harrington. I didn’t feel it right away, I was going off the ice and it was fine and then I went to turn and I knew right away that it wasn’t right.”
Ferraro recovering is slightly ahead of the original prognosis of 3-4 weeks. He hopes to return for Detroit’s home games around Thanksgiving.
“I just gotta see how it goes,” Ferraro said. “Right now I’m ahead of schedule. … I just have to keep going and make sure that I put myself in a good spot for when I’m back.
“I was doing things at the end of the first week that I would be at at the end of the second week. I’m happy with it. It’s coming along as quick as I can, so I just want to get back and get moving.”
Wings coach Jeff Blashill was encouraged with Ferraro’s progress.
“He stepped off the ice (Sunday) and said he felt like he was getting better, so that’s a positive for sure,” Blashill said. “He looks like he’s skating good, so that’s positive. The more good players you have available to you within the 20 you’re going to play, the more competition it creates and the better it is. From those aspects it’s a positive. We’ve got 20 good enough to win, we got to go out and execute.”
Roster depth was a team strength heading into the season, despite starting without Pavel Datsyuk, Darren Helm and Danny DeKeyser. Since then the Wings have battled through the loss of Ferraro, Brad Richards, Johan Franzen, Mike Green and Kyle Quincey.
The strain on depth has put line combinations in flux, which has had an ill-effect on the offensive production.
“We need scoring, so we need depth of scoring throughout our lineup,” Blashill said. “We’re going to have to do a better job of that. The more good players are available to you the better chance you’re can have that depth of scoring.”
Compounding the injury issue for Ferraro was his family that was at the game, which included his dad, Ray Ferraro. The former NHL star turned color analyst was working between the team benches for a TSN broadcast.
“As bad, or as mad and disappointed as I was when I was getting looked at by the docs in the back, listening to him try to explain what happened on national TV wasn’t the best,” Landon Ferraro said. “But Gord Miller jumped in and saved him a bit so he could kind of take a minute and regroup. There was 58 minutes left in the game after that, so he had a lot of time left to think about it.”
Ray Ferraro checked on his son during the second intermission.
“I saw him after the second after I had done some treatment and stuff,” Landon said. “Just let him know that I was alright and it wasn’t anything too bad.”
Ferraro is among nine Wings forwards who are looking for their first goal of the season. He has a minus-3 rating with 12 shots on goal in 10 games.