2006_02_sjagrmalik.jpgThe Rangers served notice last night that they are ready to take on the best teams in the NHL. New York totally controlled their game with league-power Ottawa, beating them 5-1. The win keeps the Rangers in first place and brings them within three points of the Senators for second place in the conference.

Jaromir Jagr got things going with a power play goal during a two-man advantage. Marek Malik scored off of a deflection and Jason Ward added a shorthanded goal. Ottawa scored when Henrik Lundqvist could not control a rebound, but Michael Nylander and Petr Sykora added goals to provide the winning margin.

Hockey needs to get the focus back onto the ice. The Great One himself, Wayne Gretzky, has now been tied to the Rick Tocchet betting scandal. According to a report in today’s Newark Star-Ledger, Gretzky is on the wiretaps discussing the gambling ring that Tocchet ran. Gretzky had denied any knowledge of it on Tuesday and now has been caught in a lie. Hopefully, that is the extent of his involvement, because the league doesn’t need a scandal like this right now.

Photo by AP/Frank Franklin via ESPN