Melbourne fans will wake up with a smile on their faces following a comprehensive win against Hawthorn at the MCG.

The margin jumped out to 55 points when the final siren rang and was comfortably in the Demons' grasp from the opening bounce.

But what will please Simon Goodwin most is his team's willingness to defend, reflected by Christian Petracca's last-quarter efforts.

In the dying minutes of Saturday's clash, fans witnessed Petracca sprinting to the defensive goal-square to commit a spoil and deny Hawthorn an easy goal.

This type of act is symbolic of where Melbourne is currently at, putting a scare into the rest of the competition.

"They were a number of things (that were pleasing)," Goodwin said post-game.

"We were really strong in the way we defended.

"I was rapt with the players, we defended to a really high level.

"To have 50 marks taken against you in the first quarter and only concede a point and score off the back of that.

"I thought our stoppage work (was impressive), our inside mids got to work and certainly gave us great use and we used it as a scoring avenue.

"With that, came some connection inside 50. There was a lot to like in the game."

Goodwin's mention of "connection" going inside 50 has been a downfall of the club since the 2021 premiership win.

Losing their incredible ability to score at will has denied the club a second flag in recent years but that could all change in 2024.

Goodwin acknowledged that the work over the pre-season is finally coming together, but admits there will be teething problems as the weeks roll on.

"I hope our supporters can start to see some of the work Greg Stafford has done with our forwards," Goodwin said.

"Andrew McQualter with the midfield in terms of building that chemistry between our mids and our guys forward of centre.

"I think we're starting to see that play out, but we will have weeks where it doesn't work, like every team, but it's a work in progress for us and it was a highlight (against Hawthorn)."

In a dominating performance, the Demons smashed the clearance count (35-23) whilst also winning the tackles (73-50) and contested possession (128-116) sums, with Goodwin saying: "As a collective group, we just got to work. We were prepared to get our hands dirty on the inside and we were pretty clean to get the ball on the outside which gave us great opportunities to score."

However, fears have gone into the Melbourne camp as the suspected injuries to Steven May (ribs) and Jake Lever (knee) could force a reshuffle in the backline.

Since 2021, the Demons have ranked 1st and 2nd in points against, a testament to the work produced by the pair.

With May and Lever sent for scans, Goodwin is hopeful the results are in favour of the Demons but knows there is plenty who can stand up and fill their roles.

"Steve's (May) gone off for some scans to check on his ribs, suspected broken rib there. And Jake (Lever) is going to have a scan on that knee, but we're pretty hopeful that'll be okay but we'll have to wait and see," Goodwin said.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 23: Mabior Chol of the Hawks competes with with Steven May of the Demons during the round two AFL match between Hawthorn Hawks and Melbourne Demons at Melbourne Cricket Ground, on March 23, 2024, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

"But when you lose two key pillars early (in the game), I thought Harrison Petty, Tom McDonald and Marty Hore did a great job down back for us."

Harrison Petty - who was initially deployed as a forward alongside Ben Brown - was pushed into the backline to cover the losses.

Adam Tomlinson is another who will be in consideration for a defensive position.

The Demons have a tough stretch of games before their Round 6 bye, playing two games in South Australia over the next fortnight.

Melbourne will face Port Adelaide next Saturday and will likely stay in the neighbouring state for Gather Round, as they take on the Crows the following week.

In Round 5, the Demons will return to the MCG to host Brisbane.

Sitting at 2-1 to begin 2024, Goodwin will hope a return of at least two victories out of the next three will help put the club on a top-four trajectory.