It was only must-see TV for curiosity's sake.

Henrik Sedin emerged from watching his Swedish countrymen defeat Germany at the world hockey championship Wednesday morning and had no trouble shifting his attention to the upcoming Western Conference final. And while the Vancouver Canucks are still awaiting an opponent — either the San Jose Sharks or Detroit Red Wings — their captain can't wait to make the right impression at the right time.

It's a long way from Ornskoldsvik to the third round of the Stanley Cup marathon and the significance of playing at this point in the spring is apparent. Henrik and Daniel Sedin weren't raised in an environment where an NHL championship was the ultimate achievement, but their craving for validation is obvious after 10 seasons of having their games dissected by the media scalpel.

"The world championship was No. 1," Henrik recalled of his boyhood dreams. "Right now, it's the Stanley Cup and there's nothing after that. Then it's nothing again and then it's the Olympics, maybe, but I've won that already [2006]. And the world championship comes further down the list, that's for sure."

That's why we saw a rare side of the calm and collected captain when the pesky Nashville Predators were finally eliminated Monday. Like a kid on Christmas morning, Henrik simply couldn't contain himself. He jumped up and down on the bench like a video-game freak who had just scored an X-Box. And then he jumped into the arms of athletic trainer Mike Burnstein.

"It was joy," recalled Henrik. "It's such a big stage. The latest we've played is May 11 and you see teams move on and all the coverage they get. Those are the games we want to play in and we've never been there. To be there with the guys we have and the ones who have been here for a long time, it's special. This is what we have been looking for."

It will be memorable if the second-round series can be chalked up to a valuable learning experience. While Daniel scored the series-clinching goal, he had just three points (1-2) in the six games and was a minus-6, Henrik also struggled, with just four points (1-3) and was a minus-4. He looked out of sync and weary, as if he was trying valiantly to play through a suspected leg injury. Chemistry was clearly missing. Daniel has 10 points (6-4) in the postseason and is also a minus-8, but Henrik has made a point of ignoring the speculation.