If anyone needed a reminder as to how good of a pick-up Dan Butler was, Thursday's match-winning heroics against Gold Coast was the perfect example to hammer the point home.
Butler booted four astonishing majors – including two of the visitors' three final-quarter goals – to strong-arm the Saints over an impressive Gold Coast outfit by four points and park the Saints in second position on the ladder.
Ben King's third major in the final term extended the Suns' lead to nine points, before the former Tiger's brilliance and a critical Josh Battle goal proved the difference to confirm the gritty 11.8 (74) to 12.6 (78) result.
It was another close shave for Brett Ratten's men, with the triumph at Metricon Stadium the fourth consecutive match between the Saints and Suns determined by under a goal
The electric Suns challenged all evening on their home deck – coming out well on top of the clearances 36-21 – and slotted four unanswered goals either side of three-quarter time to come incredibly close to souring Paddy Ryder's 250th game.
A sizzling second-half blitz from Izak Rankine (two goals) gave the Suns spark at critical times, before several Saints stepped up to the plate under the immense pressure.
Hunter Clark (19 disposals) came up trumps in several massive moments in the defensive end and was incredibly composed in the dying moments during the Suns' inspiring final charge, while Jack Steele (21 disposals, two goals) and Jack Billings (27 disposals) were again among the best-on-ground to bump the Saints' into the top-two.
All eyes were on Max and Ben King heading into the match, with Gold Coast's King twin supreme with three goals to almost pop his side back into the top-eight.
It wasn't the most glamorous of victories, but the Saints showed their maturity when the Suns threatened to snatch the victory.
Led by Touk Miller and Hugh Greenwood, the emerging Suns carved through the centre to highlight their pace and ever-present danger, while Jarrod Witts battled excellently against the combined force of Ryder and Rowan Marshall.
Gold Coast's ability to arrest momentum, pile on scoreboard pressure with two four-goal runs and emerge on top of all major facets showed the book is far from closed on their 2020 campaign.
St Kilda ultimately outlasted the home side's surges as the lead swung in line with the Suns' multiple scoring bursts.
It was only after Butler's blazing four goals that the Saints could take a huge sigh of relief.
A magical dribbler tucked up against the boundary on his opposite foot in the second term signalled the most impressive to break the Saints' goalless drought, but it was his closing two that packed the biggest punch.
Battle (two goals) also chimed in at vital times, reeling in two contested marks in the second half to put himself among the multiple goalkickers for the night.
While a considerable amount of attention was drawn towards the energetic forwards at either end, profound backline efforts punctuated the hotly-contested affair.
Jake Carlisle (17 disposals, nine marks) and Sam Collins (14 disposals, 10 intercepts) were particularly dominant in defence, while Ben Paton was again solid following his shutdown job on Tom Papley last Saturday.
Ed Phillips (13 disposals) also performed strongly through the midfield after coming in as a late replacement for skipper Jarryn Geary.
St Kilda will have just four days to prepare for its Round 11 clash with Geelong at the Gabba, while Gold Coast will have an extra two days ahead of its Wednesday night clash with Essendon at Metricon Stadium.
GOLD COAST 2.1 6.5 8.7. 11.8 (74)
ST KILDA 3.2 6.2 9.4 12.6 (78)
Gold Coast: King 3, Miller 2, Powell 2, Rankine 2, Lemmens, Anderson
St Kilda: Butler 4, Steele 2, Battle 2, Gresham, Kent, Marshall, King
Gold Coast: King, Miller, Greenwood, Witts, Weller, Rankine, Collins
St Kilda: Butler, Steele, Billings, Clark, Ryder, Battle, Carlisle, Hill
Gold Coast: Nil
St Kilda: Geary; replaced in the selected side by Phillips