Joe Canning knows his hurling history.

When asked to consider the proposition that scoreboards have become far too busy, he goes back seven years to the meeting of Kilkenny and Tipperary.

"People talk about the 2014 All-Ireland final, the drawn match, as one of the best games that we've ever seen," he tells RTÉ Sport. "Do you remember the score in that? 3-22 to 1-28.

"That's 31 points each. People say that was one of the best games ever, and that's a high scoring game.

"It's kind of a thing that somebody might say it, and then everybody jumps on the bandwagon and goes 'yeah, yeah, yeah, it's getting too crazy, the scores'.

"Maybe it's just Covid or whatever, that people are getting negative about stuff. People seem to give out about things a bit more lately than they ever did. Why look for the negative always, and try and change things when there's no real need to do it? We have one of the fastest field sports in the world. Why not enjoy it while we have it?"

Free-counts and light sliotars are among the many culprits being identified as factors in shootouts.

"There was another thing about the frees being too much. But nobody reported then, against Waterford I think I only hit four frees. Against Cork yesterday, I think Evan (Niland) only hit seven frees or something like that (four and two 65s). That's not too many frees.

"But nobody has said the free-count has come down in the last two weeks. All they're talking about is there are too many frees. Perception is sometimes skewed in a way that it wants to be skewed.

"Even when you look at the frees, yeah fair enough (scoring from) your own 45. But there's a lot of things in that. Wind as well. That's a skill. I'd be worried if everybody could do it. But not everybody can do those kind of things.

"It's not an easy thing to do, hit the ball on the run from 70 yards out and over the bar. But players are so skilful now that they make it look easy and I think we take some things for granted, maybe. That's just the skill and dedication of the players, that they're putting in the hours to train and be good at striking off left and right.

"It's the same about the ball, everybody is saying the ball is way too light, we need to make it heavier. When in fact, it's almost the same weight as it was back in 2005.

"They're probably not going to consult the players, as always, so they might as well just make these changes if they want to. But do some facts on it. The sliotar, it's very easy say that it's lighter but James Skehill (former Galway goalkeeper) weighed the sliotars and I think there's a gram in the difference. So why didn't they change the ball back in 2005 when it was that weight compared to now and why is it only now?

"When Diarmuid O'Sullivan scored that point from over 100 yards back in the early 2000s, that was supposedly one of the best scores ever, the ball wasn't too light back then. So people can be funny sometimes with how they see things."

For the Galway talisman (32), who has a splint on his thumb but insists he will be fine for a Leinster semi-final on 3 July, the biggest changes since he made his senior debut have been tactical rather than around equipment.

"Is it as hard to score now as it was then? Yeah it is," he says. "At inter-county level, you earn your scores. There is nothing given easy, no matter who you're playing.

"The skill level and tactics have definitely changed. Back in 2008, it was basically get the ball in the backs and drive it up the field as far as you can, then try and win it and score. So it was more kind of a tennis match going on, up and down the field.

"Nowadays it’s much more possession-based. You try and work scores a bit better, and that takes a lot of skill as well. It’s just a different game now, compared to the way it was played back then."

Gearóid Hegarty (L) and Joe Canning are happy with hurling

2017 Hurler of the Year Canning was speaking at the launch of Bord Gáis Energy's GAAGAABox, where he found common ground with last year's winner Gearóid Hegarty.

"I don't like the argument that it's too easy to score because I think the quality of the game at the moment is absolutely sensational," said the Limerick half-forward .

"What do fans want? I would imagine that when I'm finished up hurling and I'm going to a game you want loads of scores. Do we want hurling to turn into a defensive sport like football was for a few years?

"We don't want it turning into free-taking contests, I don't think anybody wants that. But I think people should appreciate the level of score-taking and the skill it takes to actually take some of these scores in championship games."

Galway finished the Allianz Hurling League as joint-champions with Kilkenny (unless they meet further down the road) but Canning's scoring averages have been curbed somewhat by lining out at midfield and the emergence of 23-year-old Evan Niland as an alternative free-taker.

"It doesn't bother me and I’d say it doesn’t bother Evan either who takes the frees as long as we’re scoring them," said the Portumna man.

"The day I came on against Limerick, Evan was going well on them so why would I take them then? He’s striking them very well and struck them well yesterday. He has come on a huge amount over the past few months, strength-wise even.

"He would admit himself that he’s not the biggest man in the world but he gets around the pitch fairly well for us, and he’s a good option for us to have. He’s hurling very well."