Now the Blues’ starting goalie, Elliott is working extra hard this summer

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“I’ve been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.”

That was St. Louis goalie Brian Elliott, speaking with the Post-Dispatch about his preparations heading into the 2014-15 season, which he’ll begin as the Blues’ starter.

Elliott will be backed up by up-and-coming youngster Jake Allen, so it’s no guarantee that he’ll finish the season as the starter. But, at the very least, he won’t have a veteran like Jaroslav Halak or Ryan Miller to beat out.

Elliott signed a three-year contract extension in May. The 29-year-old will have a lot of pressure on him next season, with goaltending perhaps the biggest question mark on an already-strong Blues team that was made even stronger after adding arguably the top unrestricted free agent available in Paul Stastny.

“I’m definitely excited and all the guys I’ve talked to over the summer are excited,” said Elliott. “Hopefully, together, we can take that next step.”

Related: Hitch says Stastny ‘really fits’ the Blues