GLENDALE - Coyotes TV broadcaster Tyson Nash is bringing his unique and fun style of analyzing hockey to a national audience during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Nash, who has been in Arizona's TV booth for eight seasons, is serving as a pre-game and post-game analyst on NHL Network on a regular basis.
"I'm thrilled," Nash said Friday before appearing on both NHL Now and NHL Tonight. "This is a channel that I know everybody in our game watches either before games or at the end of the night or both. To have a chance to be on this channel is very exciting for me."
The NHL Network is based in Secaucus, N.J., and Nash, a Scottsdale resident, has been commuting to his post-season gig. He'll next appear on NHL Network from May 21-24.
"It's a lot harder than I ever imagined," Nash said. "I feel a lot of pressure knowing that everyone who loves hockey is watching us, but I love it. I think it's important for a person to stretch your boundaries and test yourself, and this is definitely making me stretch and I think it's making me a better broadcaster."
Nash has enjoyed working with different NHL Network hosts and analysts such as Dan Bylsma, Mike Johnson, Ken Daneyko, Brian Lawton and Bill Lindsay, with whom he used to swap punches when both were players.
"It's always fun to pick each other's brains," Nash said. "I enjoy hearing all the different perspectives on the game itself. I find it so incredibly interesting."
Nash said although he's having fun, there's also lots of hard work that goes into every broadcast.
"There is a ton of pre-production involved," Nash said. "There's not a rock that is not unturned. Each show is so professionally done here. It's a first-class operation and you feel like a big wheel being part of it. I'm new and I'm probably over-preparing and sometimes that can be detrimental. There have been times when I've had so much going through my little brain that it's amazing I can spit a sentence out ... I always get nervous, but I find nervous energy is good energy. It's like standing on the blue line before a game. I was always sick with nerves and butterflies, but that's when you play your best games."
The Stanley Cup Playoffs have reached their midway point with two rounds complete and two more to go. The first two rounds were memorable, and Nash said that helped him as an analyst.
"This is the best hockey I have ever seen," Nash said. "We as hockey fans are really being treated to elite playoff hockey this year. The comebacks, the heroics, the unsung heroes, the goaltending battles, it's all been incredible. You just don't know what's going to happen each night. It's been remarkable. The only disappointing part is there are some very good teams like Washington and Edmonton out of the playoffs now. I would have liked to have watched those two teams play more games for sure."
Nash said Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury gets his vote for the MVP of the playoffs thus far, with Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf and Ottawa's Erik Karlsson and Jean-Gabriel Pageau close behind.
Four teams - Pittsburgh, Ottawa, Anaheim and Nashville - remain alive in the chase for the Stanley Cup. Nash likes the Predators to win it all.
"I'm going with Nashville all the way," Nash said. "They've really surprised me. What they've done and how they've gelled together as a team is amazing. They've got everything going in the right direction right now, so I like them playing Pittsburgh in the Stanley Cup Final. And in the end, I think it's going to be Nashville over Pittsburgh. The Preds are riding that wave and that's a scary thing for any team that faces them."