1. A Saintly finish
A thrilling final term saw no goals scored for the first 24 minutes before Jeremy Howe put the Demons in front with less than a minute remaining. Then, Leigh Montagna – who was the Saints' best player – capped off a terrific afternoon when he burst into goal with 19 seconds left on the clock to seal the two-point win. The result extended the Demons' horror losing streak at Etihad Stadium to 21 games, and means they still haven't beaten the Saints since an elimination final victory in 2006.
2. Hogan keeps delivering on his promise
In an entertaining contest where goals came in flurries, Melbourne youngster Jesse Hogan reaffirmed his immense promise with a commanding performance up forward. Four first-half goals kept the Demons alive after the Saints pushed 24 points clear, and he ended with a career-high bag of five. After being known by his teammates as Jesse "4-6" Hogan last year because of a lingering back issue that eventually cost him all but one VFL game, the 20-year-old showed the injury woes should be eventually considered a mere speed bump on the highway to an excellent AFL career.
3. Viney takes the points in the 'Jack v Jack' stoush
Bernie Vince and Jack Viney have been deployed several times this season as run-with players, and the task of curtailing Saints' midfielder Jack Steven fell to the latter on Sunday. Steven, who along with David Armitage should be leading the Saints' best and fairest voting, has been in dangerous form and had 38 touches against Hawthorn last week. Viney kept Steven to five disposals in each of the first and second terms, and to 21 for the game. Barring two important moments - Steven's exciting centre burst and goal in the third term, and his last-minute clearance resulting in Montagna's sealer - it was an important victory for Viney, who won 24 disposals and seven clearances of his own.
4. Mav's back
Equally as important for the Saints was Maverick Weller. Suspended last week, the former Sun came straight back in and set about stopping the influence of Nathan Jones after the Demons' captain exploded out of the blocks for a 14-disposal first quarter. He still ended with 32 but Weller was able to keep him to just two in the second quarter when the tough Demon looked as though he was capable of completely breaking the game apart.
5. Gilbert's timely return
With Sam Fisher sidelined by a hamstring, backman Sam Gilbert picked a good time to finally return from nagging foot and adductor injuries. He slotted into the team's back six and settled his nerves with two contested marks in the first quarter, before blitzing out of defence early in the second with a neat rebound. As the game wore on he showed the usual signs of a player who has missed plenty of senior football but the 28-year-old – in just his seventh AFL appearance since round one last year – got through unscathed with 13 touches and seven marks, and will be better for the run. With fellow key back Cameron Delaney sidelined during the game with a hand injury, Gilbert's return proved even more vital.