Skip to main content
Short Shifts

Capitals fan makes Kuznetsov sign that actually does 'The Bird'

Forward's signature celebration comes to life on poster

by Dan O'Leary @DanOLeary25 / NHL.com Staff Writer

Now that is some lifelike art.

Lifelong Washington Capitals fan Julia Pettella, a 20-year-old college student from King City, Ontario, has always stood out in Toronto.

"During that first round playoff series two years ago (where the Capitals defeated the Maple Leafs), I didn't have many friends around here," Pettella joked.

Video: WSH@TOR: Caps fan makes moving Kuznetsov sign

But Thursday, her creative art work helped her stand out at Scotiabank Arena.

Pettella brought a homemade sign featuring a picture of forward Evgeny Kuznetsov doing his signature "bird" celebration. It featured stars on either side and the phrase "Give 'Em The Bird."

Then things got kicked up a notch. Pettella showed that the poster not only represented the bird celly, it could actually do the bird celly.

Armed with her artistic skill and some paper clips, Pettella designed a pull tab that would show the Capitals forward doing his signature move.

"I wanted to do something interesting, something fun, something that would stand out," Pettella said.

While not factoring in letting the paint dry overnight, it took about 3 hours to make. And it was worth it. She certainly got the attention of her subject. Television cameras showed Kuznetsov taking notice of the sign and sporting a look of surprise.

"I didn't expect it to be like this, to go viral like this," said Pettella, a junior studying sport management major at Brock University in St. Catherine.

It's not her first Capitals-related project. Pettella and her father, Dan, built a life-sized replica of the Stanley Cup after the Capitals title last season.

"The way they partied and were doing keg stands out of the Cup, we figured we should have one to do keg stands out of," Pettella said.

And it won't be her last.

Pettella plans on attending Saturday's Capitals game against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. And she hopes to have her next masterpiece, a moving sign of Alex Ovechkin's "hot stick" celebrration, ready by then.

But no guarantees, you'll just have to stay tuned.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.