Blues goalie Brian Elliott personifies the concept of streakiness.

There was the five-game stretch last season where in consecutive starts he allowed at least four goals (three fours and two fives to be precise). That was the period that pretty much gave birth to the Jake Allen era and started a run of 11 games with Elliott on the bench that eventually ended up with him in Peoria in the American Hockey League to get back up to speed.

That led to a better streak one where from April 1 to the end of the regular season Elliott went 11-2. Within that stretch he had one run of three straight shutouts and allowed one goal in six of his final seven games.

With that in mind everyone around the Blues wants the same thing: for Elliott to pick up where he left off last season.

Too bad that everyone’s pretty sure it doesn’t work that way. The NHL offseason isn’t all that long but it’s long enough to make goalies have to pick up and start all over again.

“It’s such a long time from last season to now” Elliott said Tuesday “you really have to build it up again. Your confidence is there your abilities don’t really change — and if they do it’s for the better because of the way you work over the summer now — but getting on a roll you really have to build that up again. When you’re away from it for a summer not having the traffic in front the battling to see the puck that’s a big difference.”

Tonight Elliott will get his first chance to see hostile shots since the playoffs ended on May 10 when the Blues face Tampa Bay in Orlando Fla. in their second exhibition game. He’ll make the start with Allen the other goalie on the trip.

While there may be no carryover of play from last season to this there are signs that point to Elliott having a better start this season than last. With last season delayed by the lockout preseason camp ran just six days leaving goalies little time to get up to speed. After making a relief appearance in the second game of the season Elliott then allowed at least three goals in seven of his next nine appearances. Coach Ken Htichcock thinks the rushed nature of the start of last season was not conducive to Elliott’s game.

“I think it was big because he’s a methodical guy” Hitchcock said. “He’s a real good thinker he’s a guy that bases everything on timing. When you play four months of summer hockey or shinny I think everything goes out the door. It’s hard to gather that back in. (Now) it’s three months two and a half months of shinny coming into a season. (Last year) we had seven months of it. Between the offseason then the offseason again we were seven months before they were actually focused on playing their position.

“The goalies who were successful were the ones that either played or had big-time instructors with them all the time. The ones that struggled they didn’t have the instruction or the disciplined effort with the instruction and I think their seasons were a reflection of that and I think it took time for those guys to get going.”