Connect with us

Golden Knights Analysis

Golden Knights Potential Playoff Opponent: Nashville Predators

In the leadup to the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, we're continuing our series here at Vegas Hockey Now<...

In the leadup to the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, we're continuing our series here at Vegas Hockey Now where we will look at potential teams the Vegas Golden Knights could play in the postseason. While a playoff trip is not yet guaranteed for the VGK, it is much safer to assume this team makes the postseason this year compared to last year.

Standings will fluctuate up until the NHL's last day of the regular season on April 13. So the Golden Knights will not have a set opponent for some time. In the meantime, we can do some speculation on which teams the VGK would match up well against, and which teams they would not.

Today we will look at the Nashville Predators, who are clawing at the chance to be a Wild Card team right now as they are out of the playoff picture.

Nashville Predators

How it Could Happen: With the Predators currently five points out of a playoff spot, the most likely playoff matchup would come if the Golden Knights continue to lead the Western Conference in points, and the Predators sneak into the final Wild Card spot. 

The matchup would then be VGK (P1) v NSH (WC2).

2022-23 Season Series: 12/31- 5-4 VGK W (OT), 2/7- 5-1 VGK W, 4/4- @NSH 8:00 p.m.

The Predators are in a strange situation as it looks like they are in a position to re-tool the franchise after selling big at the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline. However, the remaining players on the roster are banding together to make a playoff push, just five points out of a spot in the postseason.

Always a candidate for the Norris Trophy, defenseman Roman Josi leads the Predators in scoring with 59 points in 67 games. Matt Duchene and Fillip Forsberg are strong offensive weapons and in goal, the Predators have one of the bright young goaltenders in the league, Juuse Saros.

However, depth is a huge issue for the Predators, especially after they sold at the deadline. Outside of Duchene and Forsberg, they have a weak offense with guys like Ryan Johansen underperforming and a collection of young and unproven players. On defense, they have a collection of good, but passed-around veteran defensemen like Ryan McDonagh, Tyson Barrie, and Mark Borowiecki.

The Predators sold off assets and were arguably the biggest winner of the deadline in terms of collecting futures. They traded away Mattias Ekholm, Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter, and Tanner Jeannot, getting several draft picks in prospects in return.

The only player on either team's roster to play for both franchises is Cody Glass, the Golden Knight's first-ever draft pick that they traded for Nolan Patrick. This will be the first-ever playoff series between these two teams if they were to meet in the first round.

Matchup Pros

The Predators are a good hockey club, but like the Flames, are not playoff material. If they sneak in, they will likely be dispersed of in the first round, no matter their opponent. There are just too many glaring holes in the team's lineup after they sold at the deadline. Getting in for the Predators would be great for their young players, but it's hard to see them making at run at the Stanley Cup with their current roster.

Matchup Cons

Roman Josi, Juuse Saros, and Filip Forsberg all have the ability to take over games, and maybe with enough in their favor, the Preds can steal a win or two. But like we said earlier, it is hard to see the Predators making it past the first round, that is if they even get into the playoffs in the first place.


This is a very winnable series for the Golden Knights. But rooting on the Predators and hoping for the first-round battle against them is not a wise strategy. We saw in 2017 what an underdog Nashville Predators team is capable of.

Other Teams Analysis: Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers, Seattle Kraken, Calgary Flames.

Get VHN in your Inbox

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

VHN on Facebook

Vegas Team & Cap Info