Mark Hughes marvelled at Marko Arnautovic's double but reserved special praise for Peter Crouch.
Arnautovic scored twice in eight minutes to set the Potters on their way to Saturday's 3-1 victory at Sunderland which took them into the top 10.
Crouch celebrated signing a contract extension by heading in the third, albeit helped by a terrible mistake by keeper Vito Mannone.
It was the 99th Premier League goal of his illustrious career and his 50th strike for the Potters.
Just as importantly, it was the lanky striker's third goal in as many games and justified the decision to extend the 35-year-old's stay at the Bet365 Stadium until 2018.
Hughes said: "He continues to defy people who question whether or not we should have given him a contract or [ask] should he still be playing at this level.
"We have no doubts whatsoever.
"He's only one goal away now from 100 Premier League goals, which is a really important landmark for him.
"I'd be very, very surprised if he didn't reach it very quickly."
Hughes feels Sunderland, who fell to second bottom, did not recover from Stoke's whirlwind start.
"The way we started it was always going to be difficult for them," he said. "But clearly Sunderland have some problems at the moment."
Jermain Defoe pulled a goal back before half-time but there was to be no second-half revival.