Ranking all 16 playoff teams by their defense groups

Led by Roman Josi and Shea Weber, the Nashville Predators have the best group of defensemen among this year's NHL postseason teams. Ronald C. Modra/NHL/Getty Images

There’s a common link to most of the teams that advance to the Stanley Cup finals -- a franchise defenseman capable of playing half the game. It’s almost a prerequisite to have a Duncan Keith, Drew Doughty or Victor Hedman for teams to survive the long, grueling trip to the Stanley Cup finals.

In place of that, you’d better have depth. The Capitals’ defense may not have a Norris Trophy winner on it, but it’s six deep.

Lack one or the other, and a long playoff run isn’t only out of the question, it may not even be possible to get out of the first round.

Here’s a look at the defenses best built to win a championship, from No. 1 to 16: