Carlton's feel-good factor looks set to last all summer after the Blues gave newly-franked AFL coach David Teague a winning start against St Kilda.
The Blues came from behind to post a 11.12 (78) to 10.8 (68) win at the MCG on Saturday, two days after Teague was appointed as head coach.
Carlton's faithful turned out en masse for the occasion and saw two of the club's favourite sons power them to victory.
Number one draft picks Marc Murphy and Matthew Kreuzer were superb as the Blues reeled in the Saints, responding to all challenges in the final term.
Down back, Levi Casboult was a colossus in the absence of late withdrawal Jacob Weitering and Liam Jones.
But with the match on the line in time-on, ninth-gamer Josh Deluca proved an unlikely hero, sending a wobbly goal over the line by the barest of margins to restore Carlton's lead.
Harry McKay then ensured the Blues' seventh win of the season - and sixth for Teague in his 10-game stint - with a roaring goal.
"There's a bit of volume in there. Everyone feels good," Teague said after emerging from the boisterous Carlton rooms.
"I really liked the way we won it. We were probably not at our best ... but the way the boys hung in there was really good."
The Saints were strong competitors and led for just as long as Carlton in a match of major momentum swings.
But given the redemptive narrative around Teague's Blues, a Carlton win felt like the only possible result in the magnificent Melbourne sunshine.
A powerhouse crowd of 51,786 saw a terrific contest.
Carlton jumped the Saints for the first two goals, before the Saints settled and fired back the next six including a pair each to Nick Hind and Tim Membrey.
While Membrey endured an up-and-down afternoon, Hind was a star up front.
The livewire mature-age draftee was an electric presence even when not hitting the scoreboard himself.
St Kilda led by 24 points early in the second term but Carlton wore them down.
With Patrick Cripps tagged by Jack Steele, Murphy and Ed Curnow were smart presences around the ball.
The former captain finally returned the Blues into the lead midway through the third term with a stunning checkside running goal.
Carlton trailed once more when a dicey umpiring call preluded goals to Jake Carlisle and Membrey.
Late efforts to Deluca and McKay put paid to those ideas, allowing the Bluebaggers to sing their victory song with gusto.
Interim Saints boss Brett Ratten was a picture of exasperation after the match, saying he let his side know about their failings after the final siren.
"There's a lot of frustration," he said.
"We didn't hand them the game but we made it easier for them ... that was really disappointing."
Australian Associated Press