When Joel Quenneville decided to reunite Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews on the top line, you knew it wasn't an ideal situation.
The Blackhawks only utilize that "nuclear option" during desperate times, and trailing the St. Louis Blues 3-1 in their first-round series qualified as one.
But pairing them together has often worked out in their favor, as it did towards the end of the 2015 Western Conference Final against the Anaheim Ducks and Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
It's again reaping benefits for all four lines, which is a large reason why the Blackhawks have climbed back to even up the series 3-3.
"When we went to those lines, I thought we had balance," Quenneville told reporters Sunday. "I think that was what we were looking for. Putting Kaner and Tazer (together), we always find that's when we're in a real bad spot or tough spot. We tried that and we felt that we had more balance. With the way the lines turned out in the game, we liked the way we played."
Those in-game adjustments by Quenneville is what makes him of the best coaches in NHL history, and the Blackhawks continue to roll with and trust the changes without questioning them.
Marian Hossa and Andrew Ladd, both of whom are normally on the first line with Toews, were bumped to the third line with Marcus Kruger, but both of them have been around chess-master Quenneville long enough to know it's a tactic, not necessarily a demotion.
"Not at all," Hossa said. "I mean, you know we keep rolling four lines and quite honest, two nights ago, being on the third line I played more ice time than when I was on the first line. ... I'm glad to help the team, especially at my age, any way I can. I have defensive responsibilities, but Joel wants us to create something offensively too. So it's pretty much the same. My job didn't change."
While the double-overtime victory in Game 5 surely played a big part in those increased minutes, Hossa's right in a sense he's getting more ice time, as the new third line of Ladd, Kruger and Hossa finds itself out more against the line of Jaden Schwartz, Jori Lehtera and Vladimir Tarasenko, which has had its way against the Blackhawks this series.
That also opens up the first and second lines to produce more offensively, and it showed in Game 6.
Kane, Toews and Andrew Shaw combined for one goal and three assists, while Richard Panik, who also saw time on the top line, registered a helper.
The Blackhawks are starting to come in waves, and the ability to change on the fly and gel quicky is what has helped the reigning Stanley Cup champions have so much success in the playoffs under Quenneville.
And it will be key to a Game 7 victory in St. Louis on Monday night.
"As you go along in a series, I think you start seeing your own teams, who's playing well, who's deserving of most ice time, who's playing in situations where they deserve more quality and quantity," Quenneville said. "That's part of how we make the alterations. In games we're looking for balance, we still think we need four lines to win.
"As we've gone along here, probably all year long, that's one area we didn't feel it was nailed. I like the progress we're seeing in the series right now. Probably the best we've had all year long so that's a positive sign right now. That's what we're looking for."