Vaccination remains the strongest defense against COVID-19. For more information about where you can schedule a vaccine, be tested for COVID-19 or learn more about the virus, visit

COVID-19 Information
Select the search type
  • Site
  • Web


Hockey is one of the fastest, toughest games there is and that’s why we love it. But there’s more to it than just slapshots and body checks. Join Blues team physicians from Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University Orthopedics and their colleagues as we go behind the scenes and learn the science of what goes into keeping the Blues at the top of their game and safe. From the brain, to the heart, to all the muscles, joints and ligaments you’ll get a first-hand take on the science of St. Louis Blues hockey from those who know.

Ask a Team Physician:

Gnarliest Injury

Q: What's the gnarliest injury you've ever treated?

Ask a Team Physician:

Most Concerning Injuries on the Ice

Q: What kind of injury are you most concerned about during a game?

Ask a Team Physician:

What’s Going On in the Tunnel

When a player gets hurt on the ice and goes behind the bench, find out what happens in the tunnel.

Ask a Team Physician:


Q: How do you decide if a player can return to the ice if you suspect they have a concussion?

Ask a Team Physician:

Is There a Doctor in the House?

Q: We know there are doctors on site in case of medical emergency. Where are they in the arena?

Ask a Team Physician:

Getting Back Into the Game

Q: How do the doctors feel when they see someone they treat get back into the game?

Ask a Team Physician:

Surprising Elements

Q: What was the most surprising thing you learned after becoming a team doctor for the St. Louis Blues?

Ask a Team Physician:

The Doctor's Role

Q: As a team physician, what is a doctor's main role in keeping our Blues players in top shape?

Ask a Team Physician:

What It Takes to Be a Team Doc

Q: What does it take to be a St. Louis Blues Team Physician?

Episode 1:

Joints and Ligaments

As we all know hockey is a fast game and the forces generated put a lot of stress on all parts of the body. What does that mean for the players’ joints and ligaments? Team physicians, Drs. Matthew Matava and Matthew Smith discuss injuries they see in our Blues and what they do about them. From shoulder separations to MCL tears they’ve seen it all and share their knowledge with you.

Episode 2:

Anatomy Of A Save

A goalie defends his goal from shots of every speed and direction. Have you ever wondered how he’s able to do that? It’s more than just being quick. We go inside the goalie’s brain with Barnes-Jewish and Washington University neurologist Arun Varadhachary, MD and see that training and something that’s genetically conserved in all of us are what makes it possible.

Episode 3:


Seeing a player wind up for a slapshot and let if fly is an exciting part of the game. But what’s it like to be on the receiving end of a flying frozen projectile? Team physician, Matthew Smith, MD, walks us through how much force a puck can generate and all the injuries from a simple laceration to possible breathing issues and surgery.

Episode 4:

The Boards

It’s obvious just by watching hockey that protective equipment is an important part of the game. Helmets, shoulder pads and shin guards play an important part in keeping our Blues safe, but have you stopped to think about how some of these devices have come to be? Team physicians, Drs. Matthew Matava and Matthew Smith discuss some of the hidden dangers of hockey that we don’t always think about and how protective equipment has evolved.

Episode 5:

Equipment Protection

The boards are an iconic part of hockey. We all love to see the opposing team slammed into them and we bang on them to support the Blues. They’re there to protect us from the dangers of the game, but are they dangerous themselves? Barnes-Jewish and Washington University orthopedic surgeons and team physicians, Matthew Matava, MD, and Matthew Smith, MD, discuss how the boards are protection for the fans, the point of injuries and what has been done to reduce their risk.

Episode 6:

Behind The Bench

Our Blues spend hours practicing, working out and doing everything they can to be at the top of their game. The medical staff does the same. But how do they prepare and what goes on behind the scenes to ensure our players are safe. Team physicians, Drs. Matthew Matava and Matthew Smith share what it takes to be medically ready when something goes wrong all without any of us knowing about it.

Episode 7:


We all know our Blues spend a lot of time working out and practicing, but did you know there’s more to it than just time and effort. There is a science behind how they prepare involving a deep understanding of physics, anatomy and physiology to reach peak performance. Strength and conditioning coach, Eric Renaghan joins team physician, Dr. Matthew Smith to explain how understanding the science of movement and constant data collection influences the players’ abilities to stay healthy and injury free.

Episode 8:


Food is fuel. No doubt about it. But have you ever wondered what it takes to fuel the Blues? It’s more than just calories in and calories out. Specific food-related biomarkers and hydration levels are key. Team physician, Matthew Matava, MD, joins strength and conditioning coach, Eric Renaghan, to explain the physiology and testing that goes into feeding the Blues and making sure they get what they need and not what they don’t.

Episode 9:

Inside The Blues Brain

Blues players train hard to play at the professional level, but is there more to it than strength and endurance? Dive into how the brain is trained with Barnes-Jewish and Washington University neurologist, Arun Varadhachary, MD as he compares the brain of former Blue Barret Jackman with that of a non-hockey player. See how a professional’s brain is connected and functions differently from our brains.

Episode 10:

Inside The Bubble

COVID-19 has changed everything we do, and it has caused the NHL to create two bubbles for this year’s playoffs. Team physician, Matthew Matava, MD, shares his experience in the bubble and all the precautions, rules and testing the NHL has implemented to keep everyone safe in Edmonton.

Episode 11:

Testing and Technology

We have all heard about all the COVID-19 testing going on, but how has it impacted the Blues and this year’s playoff run? Learn what all the testing routines and technologies mean from team physician, Matthew Matava, MD, from inside the bubble in Edmonton and better understand what they mean to you.

Episode 1:

The Heart of the Blues

We all know how the heart is a vital organ and it pumps blood throughout the body. And we would probably guess that the hearts of the St. Louis Blues are different from a regular person, but do you know exactly how? Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University Sports Cardiologist, Mustafa Husaini, MD, explains what makes our Blues’ hearts different from ours.

Episode 2:

Shouldering the Load

Our Blues players carry the weight of the team on their shoulders, metaphorically, but have you ever wondered how strong their shoulders really need to be and how they function? Team physicians Matthew Matava, MD, Matthew Smith, MD and Robert Brophy, MD go inside the shoulder to show you how Blues players can take wicked slapshots and give bone crushing checks.

Episode 3:

Brain Matters

Concussions are part of sports, but do you know what is happening to the body and how to deal with them? Our neurologist and team physicians explain the injury and what is happening behind the scenes when a Blues player is undergoing the concussion protocol.

Episode 4:

Innervation Education

We all take movement for granted. All you do is think about taking a step and then you’re walking. But it’s a lot more complicated, and rather elegant, when you look at the molecular level. Washington University neurologist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Arun Varadhachary MD, shows you how our nervous system controls our muscles and how we can test to see if your nerves are functioning properly.

Episode 5:

Kneed to Know

Most of us take our knees for granted, but did you know that this simple joint is a lot more complex than just bending back and forth. And our Blues put a lot more stress on their knees than we do. Join Washington University orthopedic surgeons at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and team physicians as they show just how elegant and durable the knee really is.

Episode 6:

A Heart to Head Talk

Do you think our Blues play more with their hearts or their brains? In this episode join our neurologist, Arun Varadhachary, MD, and sports cardiologist, Mustafa Husaini, MD, as they explain why it doesn’t really matter because the two organs are in constant communication no matter what the game throws at the Blues.

Episode 1:

That's So Metal

"If you haven’t had a bone fracture in hockey, have you even had a career?” On this episode of The Science of St. Louis Blues Hockey, we’re discussing all things bones—including all the ways they can break and how to make sure they heal properly.

Episode 2:

The Purpose of Pain

Every fall and hit causes pain, but how much depends on what your body has learned. Let’s hear from a neurologist: why do we feel pain and how much?

Episode 3:

Heart and Swole

This episode, we dive into cardiac remodeling and how our Blues players condition their hearts like any other muscle in their body.

Episode 4:


What causes a sports hernia, or core muscle injury, other than lifting heavy objects like the Stanley Cup?

Episode 5:

The Greatest Save

Cardiac incidents can happen to anyone, anywhere. But how do they happen? And how can anyone make the greatest save?

Episode 6:

Blood, Sweat, & Beers

Did you know you can literally smell the excitement in the arena when you're at a Blues game? Watch more to learn how being a fan is both emotional and physiological.

Episode 7:

Pre-Game Rituals

Rituals or "habits" can help athletes channel the power of the brain into the sport. But do they really work?

Find a doctor or make an appointment: 866.867.3627
General Information: 314.747.3000
One Barnes-Jewish Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63110
© Copyright 1997-2022, Barnes-Jewish Hospital. All Rights Reserved.