Patrice Bergeron is only 27 years old, but a veteran of nine NHL seasons, and, as such, knows a thing or two about passing, shooting the puck, back-checking, and so on.

He also knows diplomacy. You don’t field nine years worth of sportswriters’ questions — pregame, postgame, off day, offseason — without knowing how to step around the tricky ones.

This is precisely what happened yesterday, in the aftermath of the Bruins’ 4-1 Game 1 dismantling of the Toronto Maple Leafs, when a sportswriter — I’m guessing it was a dude from Toronto, ’cause he didn’t look like one of the usual Level Nine suspects — asked Bergeron a question that, if fumbled, had the potential to be freshly mined Bulletin Board Material for the Leafs.

Question: “Did you get a sense (Wednesday night) that your team’s edge in playoff experience made a difference?”

Before getting to Bergeron’s answer, be it noted that the Maple Leafs franchise is participating in its first Stanley Cup playoff series since 2004, whereas the Bruins have been in the tourney in each of the last six seasons, including a Stanley Cup championship in 2011.

OK, Bergy, take it away.

“Well, obviously, we’re trying to worry about us, and what we can bring on the ice, and I think it’s about playing our game,” he said. “We do have the experience and we gotta take advantage of that, but at the same time, they’re a good team and they give us a lot of problems.”

Bergeron’s not a goaltender, but we’ll say it anyway: Kick save and a beauty.