There's been no better word to describe the Carolina Hurricanes' 2011-2012 campaign than that one.
The 'Canes, now realistically eliminated from the fringe of the playoff hunt, have just six games remaining in a season that will likely be remembered as an agonizing sacrifice for a better future.
Indeed, many good things have come from this nearly-concluded season—the hiring of Kirk Muller, the emergence of youngsters like Justin Faulk and a clearer blueprint for next year's playoff-contending squad.
But nonetheless, few years have been more painful for Caniacs than this one. Their beloved Hurricanes have blown leads, failed comeback attempts and, most prominently, crumbled under pressure night in and night out.
Carolina's 3-9 overtime record and 0-6 overtime accord are both league worsts, and those numbers only scratch the tip of the iceberg. The frustration caused as a result has been overwhelming, but the achy sorrow of the past five and a half months has been utterly indescribable.
Looking back through the calendar, it's impossible to rightly condense the 2011-2012 season's misfortune into five specific games. The dull pain experienced throughout the Hurricanes' hockey universe has been far more everlasting than that.
But we'll give it a try anyway. Grab a few tissues, prepare to resist the urge to smash something and relive five nights of heartbreak that are sure to leave you in a bad mood for the rest of the week.