How hard is it to lose a game with less than a second left on the clock?
Ask the San Jose Sharks -- they just keep finding new and unique ways to lose games in 2013.
Remember when they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks by giving up a short-handed goal in the third period? That may have been easy enough to write off to the Blackhawks' hot start, but still ... that was a ridiculous way to lose a game.
Or last night's overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues after starting the third period up, 3-1.
Tonight's loss in Colorado against the Avalanche, however, might take the cake. With less than a second left in the overtime period, the Sharks coughed up the game-winning goal to lose, 3-2.
San Jose gets a point in the standings -- courtesy of a nice, game-tying goal by Logan Couture with just 3:25 left in the third period -- but a defensive lapse in the final seconds of the game costs the team a chance to get the extra point in the shootout.
Any goal that comes late in a period is a back breaker, but with 0.4 seconds left in the game?
Colorado out-hustled the Sharks -- who still have not scored a goal this season in the five-minute overtime period, despite a tenth game now that has gone into the extra session -- right to the end, out-shooting San Jose 7-3 in overtime.
And that hustle paid off, while San Jose clearly lost focus at the end -- perhaps waiting for the horn to blow and hoping for some shootout luck.
Hope doesn't get you far in the National Hockey League, of course.
The Sharks' power play went 0-for-5, and the inability to score has certainly cost this team wins in the first half of this shortened season. But with nine losses now by one goal in just 24 games?
San Jose has already left a lot out there on the table. After that 7-0-0 start to the season, the Sharks have gone on a 4-7-6 slide, meaning they have lost 13 of their last 17 games.
It's not hard to wonder how this team is still in the No. 7 spot in the conference, but they have the second half of the season to fix what ails them -- finally? -- and see if San Jose can celebrate in a new and unique way, for once.