It feels like forever and a week since I was at Staples Center.

The preseason games were abstract and akin to a day-dream.

I miss that walk past the southwest entrance, up the stairs and across the street to the Yard House for a drink and dialogue with friends.

I miss the excited faces, wide smiles and palpable anticipation of my more than 18,000 brothers and sisters.

Most of all, I miss

the drop of the puck, the trance in which my mind falls within seconds as I absorb each stride, check, pass, play and shot. The breakouts, counter attacks and regroups, forecheck, offensive zone entries, two-on-ones, three-on-twos, power play, oh the powerplay, killing penalties, every face off, every save, and being catapulted out of my seat on each Kings’ goal followed by the surging rush and David Courtney’s pronouncement of, “Los Angeles goal…” preceding the name of the moment’s hero.

It’s been too long my friends and now it’s just hours away. Like you, between the ears, I am already there. This day lost any potential for productivity the moment I opened my eyes this morning.

I will see the downtown Los Angeles skyline by 5pm.

I will be among you shortly thereafter.

By 7:15, I will be in my seat and when you hear the question, “are you ready?” come from the speakers, I expect you to answer the bell with fervor.