Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin has been forced into some running repairs on his game plan by an 0-3 AFL start, but the Demons are finally starting to look like the powerful 2018 version of themselves.
Last year's beaten preliminary finalists appeared a shadow of that formidable unit in losses to Port Adelaide, Geelong and Essendon.
But a pressure-relieving win over Sydney has them primed to continue their upward swing against St Kilda at the MCG on Saturday.
"Some areas of the ground weren't looking like us," Melbourne defender Christian Salem told AAP.
"We were getting scored against too heavily but we feel like we've turned the corner there.
"Our game style requires a buy in from all 22 players on the field, not just certain lines, so it was about getting back to team defence.
"We knew we had to fix a few things up but there was no panic. We just needed to tinker with a few things to help our defence, which ultimately helps our offence."
That defence received a shot in the arm at selection, with Jordan Lewis and Neville Jetta coming in for Oscar McDonald and Billy Stretch.
The Saints have two big inclusions in Jarryn Geary and Jack Steven for the Easter Saturday clash that sums up the tipping nightmare through the first month of the AFL season.
Before round one, no one would have been surprised one team has made a 3-1 start and the other is in trouble at 1-3.
Only they would've expected it to be the other way around.
St Kilda, widely tipped to finish in the bottom four, are growing in confidence after Sunday's fighting win over Hawthorn.
Melbourne will start favourites, but the Saints will fancy their chances of another upset win.
"The boys are really building belief, that if they can give great effort, if they commit themselves to the plan and to the system we want to play, then we're a chance to beat anyone we come up against," coach Alan Richardson said.
"Are we there yet? No, there's still some areas we need to work on.
"We know we have a really strong opposition this week in Melbourne, who look like they have their game back on track and they went really deep into September last year.
"We'll need to go to another level this week to make sure we're in the contest, but the guys are up for the challenge."
Australian Associated Press