It’s safe to say that the worst Patrice Bergeron ever looked during a public appearance was that day back in October 2007, when the medics walked him into a brief press conference to talk about the Randy Jones hit.

Remember that one?

Bergeron didn’t look like a handsome, has-his-whole-life-in-front-of-him, 22-year-old kid that day. He looked like an unsteady old man, and frankly, a lot of us wondered if he’d ever play again. That’s how bad he looked.

Anyway, we tell you that so we can tell you this: While Bergeron doesn’t look as bad as he did that day in ’07, he’s really, really close to it. For if the National Hockey League is looking to launch a new ad campaign to sell the public on what real, live playoff hockey is all about, all it needs to do is plaster North America with billboards showing Bergeron’s suddenly weathered yap.

It was a little after midnight this morning when Bergeron scored the deciding goal in the Bruins’ grueling, double-overtime 2-1 victory over the gallant Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals. (A quick word on the Pens: When this series is over will it be the time to throw it out there that they choked. But they played their arses off in this one, even if the stars aren’t getting shots on net.)

OK, back to Bergie: He’s a mess. His nose is scarred and red, and his left eye is red and puffy. He ended up on the bottom of an improbable fight with Evgeni Malkin at the end of the second period of Game 1, and last night he logged one second under 32 minutes of ice time.

To be sure, everyone is dragging, but let’s focus on Bergeron because A) he’s the guy who scored the winning goal, and B) he’s today’s winner of the Cut-Me-Mick Rocky Balboa Look-a-Like Contest.

He was asked to put into words how it feels to play nearly five periods of grueling playoff hockey. What’s worse: The legs? The back? The dehydration?

“It’s a little bit of everything,” Bergeron said. “It’s also mental. You gotta stay sharp and find a way, but it’s all in your head. As long as you don’t feel tired in your head, your legs are fine.

“Your body’s cramping up and you gotta find a way. You gotta keep battling, because everyone’s in the same situation. As it goes on, the more cramps you get.”

As it goes on, the more cramps you get. Pleasant.

But, again, the graphic explanation wasn’t needed. A look at Bergeron’s face was all that was needed. The face of hockey. The face of playoff hockey. The face of double-overtime playoff hockey.

“Yeah, I guess so,” he said with a shrug when asked if this is as weathered as his face has looked in a while. “But it’s all good. We’re all buying in for the team, and that’s fine.”