SUN Hockey Pool

Tjarnqvist still hurtin'

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:53 AM ET

Daniel Tjarnqvist is still not ready.

He won't be for some time.

"He tried skating again today and it didn't go as well as we expected," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish following practice yesterday. "We have to push him back and he's likely not going to return any time soon, unfortunately. We're going to have to be patient there."

Tjarnqvist has missed 12 of the Oilers' last 13 games with an inflamed pubic bone.

Jan Hejda has taken his place, and played more than 21 minutes in the Oilers' 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. The rookie defenceman has played in the Oilers' last 14 games. In 22 games this season, Hejda, 28, has a goal and five assists.

"He's played fine," said MacTavish. "For a guy that doesn't have a lot of experience at the NHL game, he's stepped up into our No. 1 pair in a lot of respects in shutting down the opposition's best line.

"He's had iffy nights, but by and large he's played very well."

The Oilers traded for Hejda's rights this off-season from the Buffalo Sabres.

The native of Prague, Czech Republic, had spent his entire career in Europe before coming to Edmonton this year.

"I know I'm in the lineup now, but we'll see what happens when Danny is ready to come back, because someone will have to sit out," Hejda said. "But I feel much better now - I'm getting more comfortable."


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