Capitals top ranking of playoff blue-line groups

The acquisition of Kevin Shattenkirk ahead of the trade deadline gives the Capitals the best group of defensemen in the NHL. Patrick Smith/Getty Images

It’s a battle of attrition for a defense during a Stanley Cup run. Teams approach a seven-game series differently than a one-off during the season. The best defensemen are targeted. Pucks are dumped in their corner, and forwards take aim.

So you’d better have depth, because injuries are going to happen over the course of a long postseason run. And for guys who are already banged up entering the playoffs? That’s a major concern.

In ranking the best defenses in the postseason, depth, health and star power were all taken into account. As we did with the forwards earlier this week, let's go 1-16 for the blue-line groups:

1. Washington Capitals