Getting one over Hibernian on Wednesday had started tremors across the city since Pat Fenlon resigned as manager of the Leith club two days later, but the SPFL Premiership has not been shaken. Hearts' success over their Edinburgh rivals in the Scottish Communities League Cup hasn't translated into a league revival. Nigel Hasselbaink and Stevie May both scored for St Johnstone and the Edinburgh club remain 15 points adrift.
Not surprisingly, Hearts supporters felt entitled to revel in their derby win, waiting 23 minutes before starting up a faux celebration of Fenlon's name.
They were enjoying themselves at that point. Kevin McHattie rifled a shot past a post after three minutes; Jason Holt battered another over 10 minutes later and Ryan Stevenson then whipped a low shot just wide of Alan Mannus' goal.
The home supporters also voiced their approval, too, when Danny Wilson threw himself at the feet of May to block an early shot from the St Johnstone striker. The positivity wrought from that midweek win at Easter Road has allowed the Tynecastle side to exorcise a few demons, yet they remain possessed by vulnerability. This has affected Hearts during a run of league form in which they have picked up just one point in seven matches - the Edinburgh club last registered a Premiership win on August 24 - and it would come to undermine their initial impetus again yesterday.
Hasselbaink was afforded the time to bundle the ball into the path of Chris Millar after 34 minutes and the Dutch striker ambled into the penalty area to nod in the resulting cross.
"That's now three goals in four matches for Nigel," said St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright. "He is a handful and in that last third defenders get worried about him. He has shown a good partnership with Stevie May and this is something different to what we had."
It was a tame way to fall behind but Hearts have begun to seem like a domesticated presence in the Premiership, one which has been left curled up at the foot of the league table, pawing at a 15-point gap.
Much of St Johnstone's threat at Tynecastle came from May - the striker darted into the penalty area early in the first half and cut a pass back towards Hasselbaink. Jamie MacDonald saved with his feet.
May would enjoy better fortunes when he went it alone after 52 minutes, though. Hearts' defence had been softened up by a series of shots as David Wotherspoon and Gary McDonald took it in turns to try to add a second goal - the latter drawing a superb save from MacDonald - before May was invited to get in on the act, picking up the loose ball on the left of Hearts' penalty area and guiding an assured finish inside the right-hand post.
The St Johnstone striker has scored nine times this season and there has been premature speculation that the 21-year-old will earn a call-up to the Scotland senior team when the squad for the friendlies against Norway and the USA is announced tomorrow. There can at least be greater certainty about the impression he has made in Perth.
Hearts looked frail by comparison and when Gary Locke applauded Stevenson for charging after a long punt late in the second half it was because the Hearts manager knew his player was giving him everything.
"It is disappointing, really disappointing," said Locke. "It's frustrating to do so well against Hibs and then we lose here. You have to maintain a level of consistency and we don't seem to be able to do that at the moment."