Until he arrived with the Maple Leafs last season, the playoffs were an annual rite of spring for Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

He appeared there five straight times with the Anaheim Ducks, with more tham 3,000 minutes and a Stanley Cup in 2007. Which makes the Leafs' current tenuous situation a blessing and a curse for the veteran goaltender.

"We're not out of it yet and for the most part, the games we're in now are very much like playoffs," Giguere said prior to Saturday's game against the Senators. "We're playing a lot of teams either desperate to get in the playoffs or trying to get a better spot. If we were in the playoffs now, we'd be regarding these games as great preparation. But if you're a young team and you're fighting for that spot, you look upon it as a great experience."

Though he has been relegated to spectator with James Reimer's dramatic emergence, Giguere was sweating bullets on Thursday when the Leafs pulled an unexpected upset in Boston. They needed a third-period goal, a huge penalty kill in overtime and then a shootout goal from Nazem Kadri.

"Super-exciting," Giguere said. "We went through every emotion. It's a good sign for us, because two or three months into the season (when they were in danger of falling towards the conference basement), I don't know if we'd have found a way to win a game like that. Now we're finding ways, not always pretty, but it's working. It's a sign that we're playing with a lot more confidence and believe in each other more."