The New York Islanders are in the midst of a playoff push in the tightly contested Metropolitan Division. The Islanders are looking to regain their footing in the playoff picture after missing the playoffs the previous year.

The Metropolitan Division has been heavily influential on the wild card race in the Eastern Conference as the New Jersey Devils (70 points) and the Columbus Blue Jackets (65 points) own the two wild card spots. The next three teams in the wild card hunt all hail from the Metro Division, as the Islanders (64 points), Carolina Hurricanes (64 points), and the New York Rangers (59 points) all look to find a way to get into the playoffs.

The Islanders have been a mediocre team as of late. In the month of February, they have gone 4-5 and now begin a three-game road trip beginning in Toronto, then over to New Jersey, and ending in Montreal. There have been signs of potential and future success for this Islanders team to not only make the playoffs, but to make a run at the Stanley Cup, as they have been getting help from players not named John Tavares this season.

Production from unusual sources

Over the past decade, the Islanders have lacked the depth of players to produce points for their team. They always heavily relied on captain John Tavares to take on the workload to get them into the playoffs. This season has shown otherwise.

Rookie forward Mat Barzal has been a pleasant surprise this year for the Islanders, as he has run with his opportunity to play and is headlining the race for the Calder Memorial Trophy (rookie of the year). Barzal was selected with the 16th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft and has cracked his way into the Islanders' lineup this year.

Barzal has been stellar on offense. According to, Barzal has tallied 16 goals and 46 assists, totaling 62 points on the year, which leads all rookies in the NHL and only puts him two points behind John Tavares for the team lead. Teammate Jordan Eberle only had good things to say about Barzal in his interview with Barstool Sports affiliate, "Spittin' Chiclets."

Veteran forward Josh Bailey is finally having a break-out year.

Some fans had already put the "Bust" label on the 9th overall pick in the 2009 Draft, but this year, Bailey has put up some big numbers with 15 goals and 47 assists, giving him a total of 62 points with fellow teammate Mat Barzal. Bailey, over the course of his career, has only averaged 34 points a season and he has nearly doubled that this year with still 21 games remaining in the season. A report by Bob Mckenzie on Twitter says that Josh Bailey is currently in negotiations with the Islanders for a contract renewal, as he is in the final year of his deal.

Defensive woes

The one thing holding the Islanders back from being a perennial contender in the Eastern Conference has been their goaltending/defensive play.

According to ESPN, the Islanders own the worst goals against average in the league with 3.6 and have the second to worst penalty kill percentage with a whopping 74 percent.

Both goaltenders, Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss, have been streaky at best, leaving the Islanders questioning the goalie situation in the future. All signs point to the Islanders not acquiring a goalie at the trade deadline on February 26th as Petr Mrazek was dealt from the Red Wing to the Flyers last week. The Islanders will have to stick with Halak and Greiss for the time being and hope for the best.

The Islanders' defensive group has contributed greatly to the GAA (goals against average) and penalty kill percentage. With Calvin de Haan out for the season with a shoulder injury and Scott Mayfield on the injury reserve with an upper-body injury, there is a lack of depth on the blue line that can help this team perform well in its own zone.

Garth Snow will have to make a decision at the deadline on whether or not he should stick to what he has and not deal valuable future pieces of the franchise, or to pursue a top defenseman to help the Islanders pursue the Stanley Cup.