DETROIT >> If the Detroit Red Wings make it to the second round, Landon Ferraro could join a few of his teammates that will have played more postseason games to begin their career than regular season with Detroit.
“Two weeks ago I was getting ready for our playoffs in Grand Rapids and then all of a sudden I’ve matched my regular season total three games into the playoffs,” Ferraro said after practice Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena. “Now it’s making sure I’m ready for the next game and try not to think too much about everything.”
Ferraro played three games during the regular season with the Wings. He’ll play his fourth playoff game with the team Thursday.
Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader are the best two examples of that.
Helm played seven games during the 2007-08 regular season and then 18 in the playoffs. The next season, he played 16 in the regular season and 23 in the playoffs.
Abdelkader saw the ice just twice during the 2008-09 regular season and then played in 10 games that postseason.
“Lando’s played four years pro hockey, he’s been around for a long time he’s had some ups and downs,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “He’s a real good skater, he scored 27 goals in the American League, even strength, none on the power play, so obviously he has a dimension.
“He can shoot the puck, he’s physical and he’s real fast. We’ve had a lot of transition over the last few years with young players and he’s one of the ones that looks like he could be part of the lineup for a while.”
Johnathan Ericsson played in 19 in the regular season and then 22 in the playoffs.
“You look at Helmer and Abby, that’s really how they got their starts,” said Ferraro, who played four games last regular season. “It’s a great opportunity for me and I’m going to do the best that I can.
“(Playoffs are) a lot tighter,” Ferraro added. “Everywhere you go you there’s someone right on top of you. When you have the puck you have to make a decision quick and get the puck moving or someone’s going to be right on you. You have in mind what you’re going to do when you get the puck is the biggest thing.”
His line, which also has Luke Glendening and Drew Miller, is also matched up at home against Tampa Bay’s explosive line – Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat – that combined for 74 goals, 200 points and a plus-102 rating.
“Just match their speed and make sure we give them no time, that’s the biggest thing,” Ferraro said about matching up with that line. “That line can skate. They have a lot of skill so if you take their time away that’s going to limit what they can do. You just try and frustrate them a little bit.
“I like how they play,” Ferraro added about his linemates. “It’s straight forward hockey. Not a lot of cutbacks, weaving up the ice, it’s get to the red line and get it in. Skate, use our feet as much as we can, get some hits, try and take it to the net. Just keep it simple. That’s how I like playing.”